More often than not, UK urban dramas are far from perfect movies with their search for realism completely backfiring and the finished product can seem over the top. The Guvnors is a story of two South East London gangs, one young and one old who both have their issues and roots to violence and crime.
Mitch, played by Doug Allen is an old school criminal, from a generation past, he no longer takes part in football violence or crime and has settled down in the suburbs with his wife and child. He has lost contact with his old friends from back in his younger days and would rather forget his past. Adam is played by Harley Sylvester (one part of music duo Rizzle Kicks), he is of the current generation of thugs, he lacks the respect that his seniors once had and is very much a street thug who's search to be feared and gain power holds no limits. As Adam and his gang hear of the infamous Guvnors (Mitch and his gang from years ago) they go on a rampage to become the new Guvnors of South East London, something which will bring Mitch out of his comfortable past and back into the violent streets that he left all those years ago.
The plot is pretty standard and there are no major surprises, it's relatively predictable and contains some of the classic clichés you would expect if you're a fan of this genre. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy this movie though, the acting was well above average, especially from Harley Sylvester – seeing him talk behind the scenes after watching the movie was surreal as he couldn't have spoken any different than he did for his role! He plays a detestable character with no redeeming qualities and he does it very well. To portray somebody like that you have to be convincing, they have to convince you to hate them and he did a very good job at this. Doug Allen did an OK job also, his character wasn't as strong or extreme but there were a few scenes in which he excelled and that was good to see.
I have read some negative things surrounding the ending of the movie, as this is a spoiler free review I won't comment on it too much but I will still give my opinion. Personally, I found it to be acceptable, maybe it didn't contain the amount of drama people were hoping for or maybe the outcome wasn't what people wanted but I didn't have any issue with it. The very final scene however was a little disappointing and not necessary at all as it did feel a little awkward.
In a story of Last Generations Old vs The Modern Youth, there needed to be a balancing act to keep the realism. The film is based mainly around the youth gang with snippets of the old gang being filtered into the story. It would have been nice to have seen some more shots of the elder gang together but that's just my personal opinion.
Overall, The Guvnors is a solid, low budget, UK Urban movie which is well worth a watch if you are a fan of this genre. Solid acting and decent pacing make it an above average movie for me and I would certainly recommend checking this out if you have a free couple of hours. 7/10
The Guvnors is both love letter and hate mail to the alpha male. This story's alpha is Mitch who lives buried in suburban London, having turned his back on his previous life of casual violence and intimidation as part of a legendary South East London firm. In the modern day he's the doyen of respectability and quiet confidence, but Mitch used to be a Guv'nor. This film holds a mirror up to Mitch and shows him the monster once again, buried deep in both DNA and psyche, desperate to break out and wreak havoc.
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December 31, 2015 at 11:11 AM