Twenty8k – Review
Review by Rob Carnevale
CO-SCRIPTED by Paul Abbott and Jimmy Dowdall and featuring a quality ensemble of familiar UK faces, Twenty8K is a stylish and gritty crime thriller that entertains in spite of some glaring flaws.
A tale of gangs, police and political corruption and media manipulation set in East London in the run-up to the Olympics, the film cannot be faulted for ambition or the way in which it seeks to freshen up the British crime thriller.
But it does require a few leaps of faith and a big suspension of disbelief along the way and could perhaps have used a little more edge, especially during its latter stages.
Former ER luminary Parminder Nagra heads the cast as successful, Paris-based fashion executive Deeva, who is forced to return to London when her younger brother (newcomer Sebastian Nanena) becomes the chief suspect in a gang shooting.
Convinced of his innocence, she teams up with an ex-flame (Jonas Armstrong) and former lover to prove it but quickly finds herself falling foul of a corrupt cop (Stephen Dillane) and in the middle of a wider conspiracy that reaches into the top levels of government.
In its favour, Twenty8k (which is the name for the gang at the centre of the story) boasts some strong performances from its cast and makes good, stylish use of its London locations.
There are some tense encounters, too, while the Olympics background lends it a timely factor.
But given that Abbott has written some of the smartest TV dramas of recent years, from State of Play to Hit & Run, viewers could have expected a little more from him here.
Asking audiences to believe that a fashion executive could potentially solve the intricate web of deceit and corruption requires too big a leap of faith, while a lot of the plot twists and intricacies feel contrived. A final act ‘twist’ can also be seen coming from a mile off.
Twenty8k is by no means a terrible film and is far, far better than most bog-standard crime thrillers that head straight to DVD lately. But given the level of talent involved, it could also perhaps have been even better.
Running time: 106mins
UK Release Date: September 10, 2012