TWENTY FOUR SEVEN (director/writer: Shane Meadows; screenwriter: Paul Fraser; cinematographer: Ashley Rowe; editor: Bill Diver; music: Neil MacColl/Boo Hewerdine; cast: Danny Nussbaum (Tim), Bob Hoskins (Darcy), Bruce Jones (Geoff), Annette Badland (Pat), Justin Brady (Gadget), James Hooton (Knighty), Darren Campbell (Daz), Krishan Beresford (Young Darcy), Mat Hand (Fagash), Karl Collins (Stuart), Johann Myers (Benny), Anthony Clarke (Youngy); Runtime: 96; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Imogen West; Universal; 1997-UK)
“It follows the familiar formulaic path of Brit working-class films of the 60s, but has less edge than those films.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Shane Meadows’ (“Dead Man’s Shoes”/”A Room For Romeo Brass”/”Once Upon A Time In The Midlands) low-budget feature film debut is a bleak inspirational film of low-class East Midlander youths turning to boxing to gain self-respect and finding something to believe in. It follows the familiar formulaic path of Brit working-class films of the 60s, but has less edge than those films. The title refers to twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, or, as the film’s star utters, “the people in this town have been living the same day their whole lives.” It’s cowritten by childhood friends Meadows and Paul Fraser, but the weak script fails to match up with the more ambitious direction.
Alan Darcy (Bob Hoskins) is a tough middle-aged loner do-gooder, a former soccer coach who is a burnt out vic. He resides in the poor suburb of Nottingham and keeps a diary where he jots down such things as, “The lads and the people in this town have been living the same day their whole life.” The diary is used as a construct to tell about his checkered past, as it points the way to flashbacks and life lessons absorbed. Deciding to do something about the idle and alienated youth in town who feel everything is hopeless, Darcy reopens the old 101 Boxing Club and recruits an assortment of lads from different gangs to join and mentors them. What follows Alan’s effort to inject community spirit in the depressed area among a bunch of lads who are druggies, abused, given to violence and an assortment of other societal ills are a series of events that lead to resentment, cynicism, violence, camaraderie and some limited sporting success. None of it that far away removed from cornball entertainment, though Meadows laces the film with his smart-ass urban humor that keeps it street-wise smart.
None of the lads were memorable (all were unknowns) and the predictable story never caught my interest, though no one can properly say it doesn’t have its heart in the right place and that the director doesn’t have a good handle on these disaffected youths. Also Hoskins gives a very good performance, as his sincere effort gets to why he cares about people and he’s always saintly but believable. Ashley Rowe photographs it in a delightful black and white.
REVIEWED ON 9/4/2008 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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