Jez Butterworth's viciously funny play (Royal Court, 1995) had the critics throwing Tarantino references like confetti. The movie, scripted by Jez and his brother Tom, is reminiscent of Absolute Beginners. It's set in 1958, in a Soho music club, the owner of which is killed by a rival gangster muscling in on a hot new singing sensation. Designed in bold, bright strokes, this has the kind of dizzy verve that mixes toffee apples with murder and revenge - a rock'n'roll freneticism that's never less than diverting. But the pinball structure may be too clever (the group power dynamics are unclear), and, for all the gloss, the movie still exists in the stunted half-world of theatrical adaptation. Fab performances, exuberance and style ensure that it works, but only in spurts.
Cast and crew