Recent events have reinforced the maxim that story is irrelevant if the actors and action on the screen look good. With that in mind, Hollywood should eat Shane Meadows right up. The 25 year-old fledgling auteur is rumored to be the best and brightest of the latest crop of young British filmmakers. After watching “TwentyFourSeven,” his first feature length film, one can almost understand why. It has a clear, bright concept, stunning photography and amusing, likeable characters. Unfortunately, the contrived, predictable story makes Meadow’s youth and limited experience clearly apparent.
Bob Hoskins puts in an affecting performance as Darcy, a local eccentric who tries to save a group of disaffected housing estate lads by channeling their excess frustration and free time into a boxing club. The script is peppered with clever and amusing dialogue, but isn’t quiet able to hide the fact that the characters are, for the most part, unforgivably cliche. By the third act the story has completely disintegrated and the film ends with a manipulative and sentimental scene in which the music tells you that you should feel uplifted, but you don’t. Ultimately, Ashley Rowe’s gorgeous black and white photography is by far the most outstanding aspect of the film.