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Rollin' With The Nines
cast: Vas Blackwood, Terry Stone, Robbie Gee, Naomi Taylor, and Billy Murray

director: Julian Gilbey

97 minutes (18) 2006
widescreen ratio 1.85:1
Tartan DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 2/10
reviewed by Alasdair Stuart
Too Fine (Simon Webbe), Finny (Vas Blackwood), Pushy (Robbie Gee) and Rage (Roddem Morgan) are all set to push their rap act, 'Time Served', out into the mainstream. But when Too Fine is murdered, his sister Hope (Naomi Taylor) is raped and the group take vengeance on those responsible, they find themselves faced with a dilemma; do they carry on with music or take the easy money and go back to drugs?

There's a lot to dislike in Rollin' With The Nines. From the opening nightclub sequence to the savagery of Hope's rape, the film is little more than a parade of stereotypes, sub-Lock, Stock.. dialogue and misogyny. Actors like Blackwood and Gee, both of whom have shown time and again that they're versatile, talented, intelligent character actors are reduced to little more than gurning, screaming stereotypes and there's not a sympathetic character to be found.

However, as the film progresses, matters improve. Terry Stone doesn't so much steal the film as violently assault it, his detective Terry White looking for all the world like the English cousin of Vic Mackey in The Shield. He's a leering, swaggering, brutal presence who spits vile insults at his suspects with total venom and commitment. White is a monster, a man happy to swim through the horrors of the drug world, completely at home there, his most memorable scene coming when he uses a flying pan to interrogate a suspect. Blackwood is also given room to improve as the film continues, Finny becoming something a great deal more than his stereotype. Similarly, Taylor is allowed to grow into something more nuanced and interesting than the token female character.

The film also demonstrates some real visual flair. A sawn-off shotgun is followed from its initial theft to its arrival in Hope's hands in a flashback filled with wit and style whilst a simple car chase later in the film evolves into an off-road crash, an attempted carjacking and a chase that looks as good as anything produced in Hollywood. However, for every moment like these there's one that is cringe inducing. A raid White leads on a yardie house contains a risible pseudo-martial arts sequence, the constant macho posturing of Pushy and Rage in particular is incredibly irritating and the casual violence of the main characters means it's next to impossible to sympathise with any of them. Whilst there's some visual flair on display here, the end result is unfortunately yet another failed attempt to mimic Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels' success. Avoid.

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