Straightheads (18)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner30/04/2007

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 89 mins

The violence may be too strong for some but this is worth seeing for a terrific performance by Gillian Anderson.

What's it all about?
Another week, another Danny Dyer revenge thriller. Here, he stars as Adam, a security consultant who meets the beautiful Alice (Gillian Anderson) whilst installing her home security system. She seduces him during a lavish party in the country, but their exhilaration turns to horror when they suffer a brutal and vicious attack after an accident on the drive home.

When the police fail to find their attackers, the traumatised pair decide to take matters into their own hands, with Alice displaying hitherto unsuspected depths of rage.

The Good
Gillian Anderson is terrific as Alice, giving a performance that is by turns sexy (the nudity and sex scenes are surprisingly well handled), heartbreaking and terrifying. We can sense the anger boiling within her, but that still doesn't prepare you for the shocking violence she is capable of. Dyer is good too, dialling down the Cockney wide-boy act and trailing in Anderson's wake like a helpless puppy.

In addition, there's suitably creepy support from Ralph Brown, Anthony Calf and Steven Robertson as the three attackers, even if it seems somewhat implausible that the police were unable to find them.

The Bad
The film's biggest problem is that it tries to justify the horror of the revenge by showing you the initial attack not once, but twice, the second time in unnecessary detail. By doing so, it tips too far into exploitative territory and lessens the impact of the point it's trying to make.

On top of that, there's an uncomfortable air of adolescent male fantasy to the violent climax that doesn't quite convince. That said, as Danny Dyer revenge thrillers go, this is a lot better than Outlaw.

Worth seeing?
In short, if you can handle the shocking violence, then this a promising directorial debut that is definitely worth seeing for Anderson's performance.

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Content updated: 19/10/2017 06:40

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