The first two "Hood" films by Noel Clarke were, if not without their problems, genuinely enjoyable and suitably gritty.
Sadly, it seems somewhere in the eight years since Adulthood (6/10), Clarke has lost his way. He went on to write and direct 220.127.116.11., a movie I personally quite liked, but had lukewarm reviews, and then The Anomaly, one of the most shockingly poor sci-fi movies I've ever seen.
In September 2016 Clarke appeared on The One Show, comparing his achievements in cinema against those of Sidney Poitier, seemingly without irony, and therein lies the problem. Whereas the original Kidulthood (7/10) was an ensemble movie, this final chapter acts almost as a vanity vehicle, where Noel's Sam Peel (a relatively minor figure in the first movie) is now the sole focal point. Perhaps the sole lack of vanity not on screen is an opening which features Clarke looking at his pot belly in a gym mirror, surrounded by younger, more fit men.
Clarke's dialogue in the first two movies engaged, even though it often lacked naturalism. This was, after all, a series where the first film had a man shouting out the moral of the story after being hit in the throat by a baseball bat. But the level of "on the nose" dialogue increases here, with clunky lines like "You think you've got power because you've got a hammer? Getting a job... owning your own place... that's power."
"We don't riot because we want to, we riot because we have to" is one of two completely overt references to the 2011 London riots, something which was covered with rather more topicality and a little more subtlety in Plan B's superior 2012 movie Ill Manors. Finally, a girl talking about guys calling each other "pussies" notes "I'd appreciate it if you didn't insult other men by calling them an albeit now accepted colloquial word referring to the female genitalia."
Although the title "Brotherhood" obviously has a wider meaning, Sam gets a literal brother here, a previously-unknown sibling called Royston, played by Daniel Anthony. An underdeveloped part, there solely as a catalyst to propel Sam into some rather OTT and unrealistic "violence", it's a role that goes nowhere.
The humour so rich in the other movies is here absent, with clunky, unconvincing comic dialogue from Henry (Arnold Oceng). Adam Deacon claimed to have had uncredited contributions to the first two movies, and his much-publicised absence from this one is felt. Watching characters talk about crispy creme doughnuts in the middle of otherwise-dramatic scenes make it very believable that Deacon contributed heavily to the previous two entries. Either that or Clarke has completely lost whatever touch he had, delivering up completely unrealistic scenes like Henry deceiving a girlfriend who is the kind of gullible you'd only get in a mainstream sitcom.
What Clarke does next will be interesting to watch, and this film is not without some moments. But as a final part to a series that didn't require one, it's sadly something of a stain on an otherwise engaging film series. Perhaps someone needed to take Noel Clarke to one side and ask him the title quote?
Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller
Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller
First, there was Kidulthood, then Adulthood, and now comes Noel Clarke's lastest instalment: Brotherhood. Sam is facing up to the new world. He realises it also comes with new problems; new challenges he must face which he knows, will require old friends to help him survive new dangers.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
January 03, 2017 at 10:59 PM