The Fall Of The Essex Boys (R18)

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Review byMatthew Turner10/02/2013

One out of Five stars
Running time: 87 mins

Despite its claims to the contrary, Paul Tanter's version of the Essex Boys story brings little new to the table and quickly devolves into a predictable mess of shouting and shooting.

What's it all about?
Directed by Paul Tanter (the Jack Says trilogy), The Fall of the Essex Boys is the fourth version of the real-life Rettendon Range Rover Murders story, following on from Essex Boys (2000), Rise of The Foot Soldier (2007) and Bonded By Blood (2010). Nick Nevern narrates and stars as supergrass Darren Nicholls, who works with shady Detective Inspector Stone (Ewan Ross) to play rival Essex drug gangs off against each other in the wake of the death of an ex-policeman's 18 year old daughter from a bad ecstasy pill. All of this eventually leads to vicious Essex villains Tony Tucker (Jay Brown), Patrick Tate (Peter Barrett) and Craig Rolfe (Simon Phillips) getting murdered in a Range Rover by unknown assailants in December 1995.

The Bad
The film opens with Nevern's voiceover (technically more of a shout-over) proclaiming ‘If you think you know this story, think again’ (one of his few lines without swearwords), but the fact is that if you've seen any of the previous three Essex Boys movies (and, let's face it, if you're the audience this film has in mind, then you probably have), then there's nothing new here at all. Worse still, the film still manages to leave the identity of the shooter(s) open-ended.

The performances are all fairly ropey and it quickly becomes impossible to sympathise with any of the characters, so this is something of a chore, particularly with Nevern shouting in your ear every five minutes. In addition, the script is muddled and it's hard to see how Nevern's character is so omniscient when he's offscreen so much of the time.

The Worse
Amusingly, actress Kierston Wareing (currently much more famous thanks to her part as Kirsty Branning in EastEnders) has appeared in three out of four of the Essex Boys movies. Here she crops up again as Patrick's long-suffering girlfriend Karen, who gets fed up of Patrick repeatedly shagging strippers and decides to sleep with rival Mickey Steele (Robert Cavanah) instead. She also has several extremely gratuitous naked scenes (if you like that sort of thing) and is saddled with some truly atrocious dialogue exchanges such as ‘Christ Karen, I could have blown you into next week’, ‘Yeah? Well, why don't you come here so I can blow *you* into next week.’

Worth seeing?
Poorly written and badly acted, The Fall of the Essex Boys adds nothing new to the Essex Boys story that hasn't already been covered by the three previous Essex Boys movies. One to avoid.

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Content updated: 19/06/2018 20:56

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