Time Out rating:
<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5Rate this
Time Out says
Tue Jun 17 2008When ‘Kidulthood’ came out in 2006, I was put off by the over-ambition of Noel Clarke’s screenplay, which tried to cram every hot-button teen issue into a melodramatic 90 minutes of violence, sex and drugs on London’s streets. It had an impressive energy and a little insight but the acting was ropey and the directing superficial. Its follow-up, ‘Adulthood’, is again written by Clarke, who had an ensemble part in ‘Kidulthood’, but now he directs and reassumes the role of Sam Peel, a lad fresh out of jail after serving six years for the manslaughter that brought the first film to a close. There’s barely a scene without Clarke skulking about the streets of Ladbroke Grove and he has several brooding close-ups that make you wonder if he has ever heard of humility.
The story has a tighter focus than its predecessor: Sam spends a busy day trying to avoid being dragged back into a cycle of revenge and violence. He fails – and much chasing and cursing follow. There’s a thoughtful side to this maturer sequel as Clarke ponders the struggle of growing up: a plot involving a lonely young woman (Scarlett Alice Johnson) scarred by her past offers a welcome, maudlin aside from the gun and knife play. But there are bum notes that will have people chewing the arm rest: a posh guy buying drugs is the worst sort of cartoon, and the location of a late showdown – Compromise Avenue, W11 – is a distraction. It’s a film with its target audience – teenage boys and the youngest of men – firmly in mind and we’re never far from a rapid edit, a loud tune or a fight.
Author: Dave Calhoun