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October 2010

Baseline

cast: Freddie Connor, Jamie Foreman, Dexter Fletcher, Zoe Tapper, and Gordon Alexander

director: Brendon O'Loughlin

92 minutes (18) 2010
widescreen ratio 1.78:1
Optimum DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 2/10
review by Jason Brawn

Baseline

'Baseline' is the name of an east end nightclub, owned by mob boss Terry (Jamie Foreman), who keeps involving his loyal employee and nightclub manager Danny (Freddie Connor) deep into gangland London. But Danny, trying to not to get involved, has other plans like - one day - owning his own nightclub with his girlfriend Jessica (Zoe Tapper).

Soon, his best friend Paul (Gordon Alexander) released from prison and wanting to go on the straight and narrow has a debt to pay to Terry, and later involves Danny that endangers his own life.

What can I say about this film? It's a poor man's Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels (1998), which has been done to death many times. The lead actor, Freddie Connor, isn't convincing as a tough guy. At times, I felt he was too dull and looked as if he were reading his lines on a board, or perhaps auditioning to appear on Big Brother.

After ten minutes, I really wanted to stop this and watch Get Carter (1972), to remind me how great British gangster films used to be. The dialogue is on the noisy side, and the sets look very cheap. There are lots of exterior shots of a housing estate, somewhere in Tower Hamlets or Hackney.

The nightclub scenes, from the start of the film, look dreadful, with the revellers looked terribly bored, when dancing to grime music, and Freddie Connor doing a bad impression of Terry McCann (Minder), or Grant Mitchell.

But Baseline does have something positive. Jamie Forman is frighteningly real as the gang leader, and there's another fine performance by ex-British light middleweight boxing champ, Gary Stretch. Like Dead Cert, what's missing here is a decent script. I want my 90 minutes back, now. Serious!



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