Shank is the latest UK urban movie to be produced and based on inner city UK living. Starring some of London's Grime scenes biggest names, Shank has been surrounded by a hol heep of hype. Following violent incidents at numerous cinemas across Birmingham since it's launch (Friday), the police have advised cinemas not to show the film. Shank is now only being showed at Star City and Rubery according to the AMC staff on Broad Street.
Shank is a bit of weird movie - Its not ya typical urban movie (we'll come to that later), but it is ya very typical predictable urban movie. Based in London 2015, life is grimy on road. Due to recession the hot ting on road is not drugs no more - It's food. Inner city London is poverty stricken and man are on a straight hustle for 'Munchies' (food). Munchies sell for big money and da big boys are all eating well and hustling hard. Food delivery vans are getting jacked for apples, chicken and burgers. The streets are full of everyone trying to make a money for food. In one scene the owner of a local restaurant is rar in the park trying to get some food to sell in his KFP restaurant. KFP stands for Kentucky Fried Pigeon - LOL!
The film is based on Fourteen-year-old Junior, (played by newcomer Kedar Williams-Stirling) who with his older brother Rager (Bashy) and his street adopted family named the Paper Chaserz, they hussle for munchies and are one of the main crews on road. They ain't repping no postcodes, they are reppin money and food! They go about their business trying not to promote the use of violence.
Following an mix up wid another crew, who are going about the place going on nuts - robbing people, shankin people for joke and disrespecting other crews and areas - Rager gets killed protecting his little brother. Junior seeks revenge and with his brothers go after the other crew leader who shanked (stabbed) his big brother. Along the way he meets a number of different people, crews and ends up in different situations that are taking place throughout inner city London 2015.
Throughout the movie there are tracks performed by London's Grime artists and the lyrics focus on the theme of the movie - Food and munchies.
The movie is very very predictable - Man are trying to hustle, man gets killed, man seeks revenge, man finds him but has a last minute moment of remorse - but the baddie still dies! Seen it all before! But what makes this movie different is the writers and directors have tried something new wid the theme and the way the movie is produced. The movie is based in 2015 and they have tried to break the usual typical theme of drugs and guns. But the fact is, the movie is still based on drugs (food) and shanking. The movie is far fetched - and unrealistic, but at least they tried something different.
Shank has a grimy feel to the movie, and looks very slick. The opening to the movie is kinda tough - but the overall movie try too much. There is a mash-up of styles – animated sequences, video game fantasies, slow-motion dance-offs, digital graphics and long music clips. Things seems to happen jus for the sake of it, and make the movie confusing and at times boring.
They have tried a new thing and have pushed the barriers of UK urban films - but for me, it don't work! 1 Day was a raw urban ghetto musical, made with people off road that weren't established actors. Shank has a number of big names in there and failed to deliver with quality scripting and performances. I came out of the movie kinda dazzled at what I'd jus saw - I couldn't mek up my mind if it was a bag of crap or a movie that had just pushed the barriers too far? As people came out the overwhelming opinion was dat the movie was whack.
It's good to see that UK urban movies are trying new ventures and ideas. Kidulthood hits London's street issues head on. 1 Day was a urban musical that was what it was - rar violence with no real eithical balance. Shank is something new. Its a showcase of low budget graphical experiments, that have now paved the way for movies that will come after it.
Rating: 6/10 - See the trailer below:
Don't get it mixed up with the 2009 movie entitled Shank which is about a teenage gang member who hides his sexuality from the his fellow happy slapping gang members despite their often futile and violent dislike of anyone that isn't the same as them be they unsuspecting shoppers, foreign students, gays etc