It’s exactly ten years since Noel Clarke’s teen-friendly drama ‘Kidulthood’ hit screens. The film showed a gritty side of London, which had barely been on screen before, portraying life in the not-posh bit of west London with a sense of realism.
As well as writing that first film, Clarke appeared as school bully Sam. His character returned in the sequel ‘Adulthood’, after finishing a prison sentence for murder. Now, in this final instalment, Sam is settled, living with a lawyer girlfriend and kids. That is, until, bad guys shoot his brother and his life spirals out of control again.
The film is at its best when it feels most realistic. When hoody-wearing kids mock Sam’s out-of-date slang, it fizzles with energy. But as we’re introduced to its Essex lad villain Daley (Jason Maza), things veer slightly too far into Vinnie Jones’s gangster movie territory. Still, rapper Stormzy holds his own in a cameo as a troubled kid, Arnold Oceng is hilarious as a clueless dad, Henry, taking on the tough kids, and – despite the majority of the film rippling with misogyny – it’s actually tough girl Poppy (Rosa Coduri) who gets most of the best lines.
If you enjoyed the first two films in Clarke’s series, then this is the closing chapter you were looking for.