Dead Man Running Review: A Load Of Cockney

DEAD MAN RUNNING: On General Release 30th October 2009

When I heard that 50 ‘Fiddy’ Cent was going to be in a new British gangster movie I was all atwitter.

When I heard Danny Dyer was going to be playing the same character he always does in a new British gangster movie, I just sighed.

Though Dyer doesn’t break knew ground in Alex De Rakoff’s Dead Man Running, he does play second fiddle this time around to Tamer Hassan.

Ex-con Nick is being forced to repay a £100,000 loan in 24 hours to Wall Street loan shark Mr. Thigo. To ensure Nick pays up, Thigo holds his mum (Brenda Blethyn) hostage while Nick and best mate Bing (Dyer) try every trick in the book to come up with the readies.

First of all, Fiddy Cent is possibly the least likely person ever to play Wall Street tycoon/notorious loan shark, Mr. Thigo. He may be big and muscley but he’s a big wuss. There’s not an ounce of real gangster to his performance and he’s only here to play the name game.

Bing describes Thigo as a raving lunatic but if you’ve seen Lock, Stock then you’ll be disappointed; Thigo’s no Rory Breaker.

Hassan’s Nick is much more interesting; he has a conscience and wants to go straight but when it comes to their mums; gangsters have gotta do what a gangster’s gotta do. There’s guns, fisticuffs, a prostitute, a woodland assassination and an assault on a suspicious cop. After seeing this, I’ve put Hassan on my ‘one-to-watch’ list.

You don’t know you know Hassan but he’s been slowly making his way through indie Brit flicks like The Business and The Calcium Kid. Now it seems like his hard graft has paid off as he’ll be playing a stroppy deity, the God of War, in the upcoming Clash Of The Titans and starring in Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass.

Dyer does what he always does and plays the cheeky wideboy with a few tricks up his sleeves which is why we love him. Brenda Blethyn is a little gem as Nick’s mum; being held at gunpoint never looked so cute and funny. Though she’s not the most likely choice for a Brit gangster film, she’s one of the best things in the whole movie.

Alex De Rakoff’s direction is lazy and his setups suffer from unclear writing; we’ll stick to Guy Ritchie for clever plots thank you.

You’ve seen it all before, but Dead Man Running is still a good attempt at an already done to death genre. If you try and ignore Fiddy Cent altogether then you’ll have an OK time but you already know that you can do better than this.


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