You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Shopping

An all-style, no-content attitudinal actioner, "Shopping" is as blank-minded as its vapidly rebellious leading characters. Set in a vaguely futuristic Britain exclusively populated by valueless kids and fascistic police, this slick , sleek and empty joyless ride is immediately unhinged by its lack of credible forces of opposition.

Cast:
Jo - Sadie Frost Billy - Jude Law Tommy - Sean Pertwee Be Bop - Fraser James Bev - Marianne Faithfull Venning - Sean Bean Conway - Jonathan Pryce

An all-style, no-content attitudinal actioner, “Shopping” is as blank-minded as its vapidly rebellious leading characters. Set in a vaguely futuristic Britain exclusively populated by valueless kids and fascistic police, this slick , sleek and empty joyless ride is immediately unhinged by its lack of credible forces of opposition; there’s nothing colliding here except cars. A candidate for cultdom in theory only, these would-be rebels without a cause will remain rabble without applause.

Along with “The Young Americans,” also showing at Sundance, “Shopping” stands at the forefront of the so-called “multiplex generation” of new British filmmakers. Repudiating the genteel, literary, Masterpiece Theater aesthetic, these directors aspire to the commercial big time as best represented by highly tooled American pictures. Or, as “Shopping” producer Jeremy Bolt put it, “We’re part of a new wave of British filmmakers whoare not afraid of saying we like ‘Lethal Weapon’ and are impressed by big-action directors.”

Still, “Shopping” has its sights set more on re-working aspects of “A Clockwork Orange” and “Blade Runner.” A sock opening, consisting of stunning aerial industrial landscapes accompanied by a pulsating score, wonderfully summons up a devastated, depersonalized world. Unfortunately, this remains by far the pic’s best sequence, as matters quickly devolve into silly plotting and violence devoid of meaning.

At the outset, when 19-year-old pretty boy Billy (Jude Law) is being released , he’s asked, “What’s prison taught you, Billy?” He replies, “Don’t get caught,” and that’s as philosophical as the picture gets.

Without missing a beat, Billy and his partner Jo (Sadie Frost) steal and trash a BMW in a profound bit of anti-yuppie crime as they head back into their nocturnal netherworld of street punks.

An “adrenalin junkie” who lives in a tiny trailer by the river, Billy is intent upon regaining his status as top dog in his anarchic world, which he can do by stealing cars and “shopping.” This consists of crashing vehicles into store windows, stealing and generally trashing the outward manifestations of consumer society.

Plot setup opens the door on an orgy of extravagant destruction, spurred on by Billy’s macho battle with Tommy (Sean Pertwee) to be the town’s best shopper.

Along with aping American actioners, tyro writer-director Paul Anderson, who comes out of TV, would appear to aspire to the mantle of the British Luc Besson, as his faith in the power of heavy atmospherics and thick style seems unlimited. Hardly a shot goes by without large amounts of smoke, fire and steam wafting over everything, all to the accompaniment of the usual rock music wallpaper.

Random violence and aimless kids may be symptoms of the times, but “Shopping’s” formulation of crime against department stores comes off as stupid and hardly formidable as a narrative foundation.

Newcomer Law seems more like a candidate for a British technorock group than screen stardom, and Frost, fresh from “Bram Stoker’s Dracula,” strikes a tough-girl pose throughout. Marianne Faithfull pops up momentarily as the proprietress of a video arcade, while Jonathan Pryce is obliged to supply world-weary opposition as a police chief.

Pic has put a big look on limited means to no good use.

Shopping

British

Production: A Film Four Intl. presentation in association with Polygram, Kuzui Enterprises and WMG of an Impact Pictures production. Produced by Jeremy Bolt. Line producer, Laurie Borg. Directed, written by Paul Anderson.

Crew: Camera (Metrocolor), Tony Imi; editor, David Stiven; music, Barrington Pheloung; production design, Max Gottlieb; art direction, Chris Townsend; costume design, Howard Burden; sound (Dolby), Colin Nicolson; assistant director, Alan J. Wands; second unit camera, Arthur Wooster; casting, Jane Frisby. Reviewed at the Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Jan. 21, 1994. Running time: 106 min.

With: Jo - Sadie Frost Billy - Jude Law Tommy - Sean Pertwee Be Bop - Fraser James Bev - Marianne Faithfull Venning - Sean Bean Conway - Jonathan Pryce

More Film

  • Wong Kar-wai

    Wong Kar-wai Honored in Lyon, Talks Early Influences, Bruce Lee, Hong Kong Handover and Bigger Canvas for ‘Grandmaster’

    An all-style, no-content attitudinal actioner, “Shopping” is as blank-minded as its vapidly rebellious leading characters. Set in a vaguely futuristic Britain exclusively populated by valueless kids and fascistic police, this slick , sleek and empty joyless ride is immediately unhinged by its lack of credible forces of opposition; there’s nothing colliding here except cars. A […]

  • 'Same Kind of Different as Me'

    Film Review: 'Same Kind of Different as Me'

    An all-style, no-content attitudinal actioner, “Shopping” is as blank-minded as its vapidly rebellious leading characters. Set in a vaguely futuristic Britain exclusively populated by valueless kids and fascistic police, this slick , sleek and empty joyless ride is immediately unhinged by its lack of credible forces of opposition; there’s nothing colliding here except cars. A […]

  • Busan: Korea’s 'After My Death,' Iran’s

    Busan: Korea’s 'After My Death,' Iran’s 'Blockage' Win Competition

    An all-style, no-content attitudinal actioner, “Shopping” is as blank-minded as its vapidly rebellious leading characters. Set in a vaguely futuristic Britain exclusively populated by valueless kids and fascistic police, this slick , sleek and empty joyless ride is immediately unhinged by its lack of credible forces of opposition; there’s nothing colliding here except cars. A […]

  • Progression Image 3 of 3: Final

    Film Review: Pixar's 'Coco'

    An all-style, no-content attitudinal actioner, “Shopping” is as blank-minded as its vapidly rebellious leading characters. Set in a vaguely futuristic Britain exclusively populated by valueless kids and fascistic police, this slick , sleek and empty joyless ride is immediately unhinged by its lack of credible forces of opposition; there’s nothing colliding here except cars. A […]

  • Oliver Sacks Documentary

    Film News Roundup: Paul Allen's Vulcan Productions Backs Oliver Sacks Documentary

    An all-style, no-content attitudinal actioner, “Shopping” is as blank-minded as its vapidly rebellious leading characters. Set in a vaguely futuristic Britain exclusively populated by valueless kids and fascistic police, this slick , sleek and empty joyless ride is immediately unhinged by its lack of credible forces of opposition; there’s nothing colliding here except cars. A […]

  • The Disaster Artist

    AFI Fest Adds Galas for 'Call Me by Your Name,' 'Disaster Artist,' 'Hostiles'

    An all-style, no-content attitudinal actioner, “Shopping” is as blank-minded as its vapidly rebellious leading characters. Set in a vaguely futuristic Britain exclusively populated by valueless kids and fascistic police, this slick , sleek and empty joyless ride is immediately unhinged by its lack of credible forces of opposition; there’s nothing colliding here except cars. A […]

  • Harvey Weinstein

    Colony Capital Has Three-Week Window to Avert Weinstein Co. Bankruptcy (EXCLUSIVE)

    An all-style, no-content attitudinal actioner, “Shopping” is as blank-minded as its vapidly rebellious leading characters. Set in a vaguely futuristic Britain exclusively populated by valueless kids and fascistic police, this slick , sleek and empty joyless ride is immediately unhinged by its lack of credible forces of opposition; there’s nothing colliding here except cars. A […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content