Review: ‘New Town Killers’

Imagine David Fincher's "The Game" set in grungy Edinburgh, on a budget, with zero sense of threat and glimmerings of a social conscience and you'd still be only halfway to realizing the comprehensive train wreck of "New Town Killers."

Imagine David Fincher’s “The Game” set in grungy Edinburgh, on a budget, with zero sense of threat and glimmerings of a social conscience and you’d still be only halfway to realizing the comprehensive train wreck of “New Town Killers.” This latest ambitious outing by Scots writer-director Richard Jobson is close to his 2004 martial-artser “The Purifiers” in its artistic carnage. Look for “Killers” only briefly prior to lockup in ancillary.

No-future teen Sean (James Anthony Pearson, “Control”) is approached by two yuppie investment bankers, Alistair Raskolnikov (Dougray Scott) and Jamie Stewart (Alistair MacKenzie), to take part in a deadly game of hide-and-seek, lasting from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m., in which the only rule is he mustn’t get caught. As the prize money will pay off his sister’s (Liz White) drug debts, Sean agrees and the game begins immediately. Sustained simply by restless editing and camerawork, and a pounding, increasingly annoying score, pic is not only unbelievable and unengaging at any level but also played by Scott and MacKenzie as if they don’t believe a word of it, either. Dialogue is hand-me-down, widescreen tech package OK.

New Town Killers

U.K.

Production

An Independent, Str8jacket Creations, Scottish Screen, Screen East Content Investment Fund presentation, in association with LipSync Prods., Glasgow Film Office, of an Independent production. (International sales: Independent Film Sales, London.) Produced by Luc Roeg, Richard Jobson. Executive producers, Michael Robinson, Andrew Orr, Sheryl Crown, Carole Sheridan, Paul Martin. Co-producer, Alex O'Neal. Directed, written by Richard Jobson.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen, HD-to35mm), Simon Dennis; editor, Steven Sander; music, Stephen Hilton; production designer, James Lapsley; art director, Andy Drummond; costume designer, Bobby McCulla. Reviewed at National Film Theater, Oct. 24, 2008. (In London Film Festival -- New British Cinema.) Running time: 101 MIN.

With

Dougray Scott, Alistair MacKenzie, James Anthony Pearson, Liz White, Charles Mnene.
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