Hard Boiled Sweets

Film, Thrillers
2 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(6user reviews)
Film_Hard Boiled Sweets.jpg

Awwright you slaaaags… Yes, it’s more Cockernee crime by numbers as Big Smoke crime boss Jimmy the Gent (Peter Wight) heads down to sunny Saaaaaarfend to sort out the local syndicate led by Shrewd Eddie (Paul Freeman), and ends up tangling with money-hungry ex-con Dean (Philip Barantini). There’s nothing in ‘Hard Boiled Sweets’ you’ve not seen before, from a series of lazy freeze-frame character introductions to not one but three hookers with hearts of gold: this is the kind of film that thinks it’s feminist because the girls hit back – never mind that leading lady Ty Glaser rarely appears on screen in more than a miniskirt.

With no decent characters to root for (everyone is either a pimp, a murderer or a victim) and performances that range from bad to bored, it’s lucky that director David LG Hughes’s screenplay contains a fistful of decent throwaway gags and enough plot surprises to just about carry it through the rough patches.

By: Tom Huddleston


Release details

Release date:
Friday March 9 2012
84 mins

Cast and crew

David LG Hughes
David LG Hughes
Philip Barantini
Elizabeth Berrington
Adrian Bower

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

Me thinks it is important in a film like this to have at least one person you can empathize with or root for.This isn't the film.The lead character is far too dull and the rest of them are too dislikeable. And the story lacks any real tension for this type of film.

Hard Boiled Sweets swaggers onto screens like it’s the last coca-cola in the desert. Like a dog that thinks it’s invented licking its own balls, whilst the all the other dogs discovered the art days ago. In presenting the UK gangster flick as something fresh and new by replacing a few metaphoric lightbulbs and a giving it a new, shiny coat of paint, the makers have fooled no one. There is virtually nothing new and nothing fresh about Hard Boiled Sweets. It’s parade of witty comparisons between gangsters and boiled sweets is arch rather than funny. And the cod-Guy Ritchies stylistic ticks got up my nose. So, so far so so-so, but are their any good points? Yes, there are. In presenting the film like it’s the coolest thing you’ll ever see this year, its certainly sets out a persuasive store. The film is well-cast with a group of actors that are permanently on the verge of becoming household names. A few of them have been around decades, yet you can’t put your finger on where you’ve seen them. The two older gangsters, Shrewd Eddie (PAUL FREEMAN – A FANTASTIC FEAR OF EVERYTHING) and Jimmy The Gent (PETER WIGHT – CLONE) are brilliantly cast against type. Both are unusual choices to play merciless hard-men but they pull off their roles with ease. Elsewhere in the cast The Bill alumnus Rene Zagger, impresses the most as a doomed bent copper on the take. The labyrinth plot is well written and structured. It isn’t hard to follow and all of the characters move around the board accordingly, all having enough room to breathe a modicum of life into their compositions. The cinematography is slick and not too gimmicky. The neon seafront and pier give the setting of Southend On Sea an otherworldly feel and it’s probably no mistake that the brightly light store fronts and slot arcades are evocative of colourful boiled sweets. Hard Boiled Sweets is a confident debut with a lot of ego. It could have been better if the outcome weren’t so inevitable and there was a little more room for the characters to expand. Certain characters like Adrian Bower‘s (TEACHERS) pimp, Gerry get a bit lost in the shuffle. The running time is very slender that doesn’t help matters. The whole thing feels like it’s setting up to a big pay off and then it’s all over too quickly. Admittedly it is a hard act to pull off juggling so many warring characters into the same story. It’s all very well acted but ultimately, it’s all a bit stale. As slick and new as it all looks, any one with a pair of eyes can see that we’re being sold the same dog again and again. Saying that, it is a fairly rare crime caper that features more than one prominent woman. 4.5 out of 10 – A confident, ego-tastic, well-told UK gangster story with an unusual but great cast. Maybe the makers’ second film will be an improvement on this as there’s fundamentally very little wrong with it. It’s just ordinary beyond words, which is a great shame.

Discount the "great" reviews. Films don't get much worse than this, however many people connected to it post nonsense about it. Avoid.

I saw this as preview I thought it was slick and very pacy with great performances I thoroughly enjoyed it!

I have previewed the film - its slick stylish atmospheric funny , very visual and plenty of action. Really great entertainment and so worth seeing!

I have previewed the film - its slick stylish atmospheric funny , very visual and plenty of action. Really great entertainment and so worth seeing!