More Than Just Film
For reasons which can’t yet be put into words, SuperCool Cinema will spend much of the next twelve months consuming and analysing the cinematic works of Mr Danny Dyer. At least twenty of them will be picked randomly from his expansive oeuvre but certain terms & conditions will apply.*
Rule 1. Nothing romanticising football hooliganism, including Danny Dyer’s Tastiest Terrace Barneys and specifically…
Rule 2…nothing directed by Nick Love. I’m a self-loathing masochist but I’m not a cahntin’ mappet. At some stage I’ll address just how physically sick Outlaw made me feel, but until that day comes make do with this comedy gold.
Rule 3. No comedies. The other half of the viewing team asked for this and to be frank I’m already doubting her commitment to the cause. If I have to fly solo when the time comes for Run For Your Wife then I shall.
Rule 4. Even if we start with the assumption that everything Danny has made is zero-budget garbage, we hereby pledge to give credit where it’s due.
Rule 5. We do this completely sober.
Film 1: FREERUNNER (2011)
In a nutshell: Death Race without the cars, District 13 without the everything.
Dyer is Mr Frank, Cockney boss of an illegal on-line betting operation for ‘anything goes’ freerunning races. Halfway through the final race of the season, Mr Frank traps the freerunners, fits them with explodey collars and, for the amusement of an elite betting syndicate of boo-hiss billionaires (whose sole purpose is to constantly tell us how thrilling this all is), makes them run for their lives. LIDERALLY.
Clearly made off the back of District 13, Freerunner fails in matching the thrilling blend of Parkour and martial arts. We instead get people scurrying down back-alleys and performing pointless somersaults over tables, bins, people tying up their shoe-laces etc. The only sense of dread comes from the sinking feeling that the racers are about to launch into a song and dance routine.
How was it for Danny? Despite going ‘full-panto’ from the get-go, Dyer’s performance is flatter than road-kill.
Neither physically imposing, cunning or charismatic enough to rise to power, let alone cling onto it, Mr Frank musters all the menace of a choir boy with a comically oversized cigar. I find myself wondering just what it is stopping his henchmen from knocking him off, dumping him in a bin bag and taking his place at the top of the pile. In this respect he’s a particularly apt character for Dyer who, on the evidence of Freerunner, has no obvious skills or abilities and is comfortably out acted by his minions.
The only highpoint comes from when he slips into seductive mode.
Interesting Fact: This is a film set in an American metropolitan city called Metro City and much of the action takes place in a cyber cafe called The Cyber Cafe. There is nothing interesting about this film.
What’s it really all about: It’s a stinging critique of casino banking and the commodification of youth culture. Probably.
Is it worth watching? It just about qualifies as enjoyably bad but, somewhat crushingly, the massive sci-fi guns modelled by Danny and Tamer on the DVD cover (which almost make you kind of want to check it out) don’t appear in the film. Otherwise, the script, acting, direction and special effects are all laughable but the sound and lighting are good enough to allow you to hear what’s being said and see who’s saying it. I have little doubt that greater horrors await us on our quest.
* We reserve the right to break any of our rules or abandon this insanity at any time.