Don’t be fooled by the shiny, happy title. “Everybody Loves Sunshine” is your basic Black Trenchcoat Movie, with all that implies – big guns, shattering glass and a thumping hip-hop beat. Plotwise, writer/director Andrew Goth doesn’t stray far from the tried-and-true “Mean Streets” model that’s already been recycled to death. But striking visuals and a handful of unexpected quirks make this veddy British tale of vengeance and mayhem worth sitting through – though just barely.
Rudy (Goth) and cousin Terry (techno star Goldie) are released from prison on the same day and greeted by members of their crime family (including David Bowie, looking like The Old Man Who Fell To Earth in his geek glasses and stubbly grey goatee). Terry, with a mouthful of gleaming gold teeth, is the crazy one. Rudy, with the soulful eyes, is the one who wants to go straight – leave the gang stuff behind and run a nightclub as well as perform with an N’Sync-style boy band (hmm…can’t say Scorsese thought of that one). Rudy’s ambitions don’t sit well with Terry, especially since the gang is fixing to go to war with the Chinese mob who recently rubbed out one of their top guys.
The story that ensues is predictable, yet still hard to follow at times, at least for a Yank like me. The working class accents that dominate the film are often impenetrable, particularly in the case of Terry, who is given to pronouncements like “Yerblechho fum duggen innit?” On the plus side, there are some nice bits of weirdness, such as when the gang performs a hit on one of their Chinese rivals under cover of Michæl Jackson masks. Bowie is an odd presence throughout as the family’s consigliere Bernie; he often seems to be wandering in from a movie on another channel. And anytime your mind starts to wander, you can be sure there’s some slow motion gunfire and gushers of spattering blood just around the corner. Goth gives the film an arresting visual presentation, livening up the steely greys and cold blues of the industrial setting with gobs of Day-Glo color. Next time, though, he’d be wise to spend a little more time on the script. As Terry would say, “Feckle goff magoo peck, dunney!”