Jackdaw Film Review

Jackdaw movie review
Jackdaw movie review
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Jamie Childs, a director who had been known for his work in prestige TV like The Sandman and His Dark Materials, has made a hugely confident first film. It’s an energetic and stylish piece that is packed with visual flare. Necessarily fast-paced given its limited budget. It is not a slow-burn horror but an adrenaline-fuelled thriller that fully exploits the possibilities of location shooting in the North-East of England. Jackdaw film recognizes Hartlepool’s industrial landscapes and ominous oil refineries as potentially stunning visual elements and thus does not shrink from exploiting them to good effect at all.

Almost science-fictional, the first act of this movie is as strong in its opening moments as any I have ever seen (Jackson-Cohen finally gets to be a male lead). It’s almost fifty minutes before the dialogue begins to dominate the film, instead, we get genre thrills. Deadly Avenger and Si Begg provide a pounding techno background track that also helps.

This film has a real spark to it, with some of Child’s images having strange fantastical elements introduced into them. Seeing a gun-toting horse-rider seemingly come from another dimension might make you think about things differently. The idea that it could have stayed on this more liminal plane is appealing. Yet once it becomes more plotty it starts losing itself somewhat. The pace of its first hour is not maintained here and some of the dialogue falls flatly on ears already tired by previous exchanges. Co-starring Coleman Jenna as Cheryl Cole-alike gangland matriarch Thomas Turgoose brings chaos energy while the villain is just silly over-the-top stuff.

In the end, though, it sort of conforms to type and rather falls into cliché. But it’s such a relief to see daring genre filmmaking set against somewhere filmmakers often ignore or use for social-realistic depictions of suffering. Most movies with Geordie accents are either about pit closures or wannabe ballet dancers. Also, you don’t come across action movies with lines like “Haway, ya wankers”.

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