Freight (2010)

Director: Stuart St. Paul
Writer: Stuart St. Paul
Stars: Billy Murray, Craig Fairbrass, Laura Aikman

Stunt coordinator St. Paul turns writer director here in this gritty, realistic, brutal portrayal of Eastern Europeans trafficking people in London who gets crossed up with local hard man Gabe Taylor (Murray). Only, it’s not very gritty or realistic or brutal for that matter, and actually quite unintentionally funny at times. This is more like a feature length episode of The Bill (in which Murray once starred) with a few more well known faces.

The crazy ‘Russians’ (which are actually Albanians) are up to their nefarious ways again by trafficking families (forcing the men into underground bare-knuckle fights and the women into prostitution to ‘pay off’ their fare), stealing trucks and other general mayhem. Meanwhile Gabe Taylor (Murray) is having problems with his porta-loos being stolen while keeping his soon to be son-in-law safe for fear of risking the wrath of his daughter Julie (Laura Aikman).

Naturally the ‘Russians’ steal one of Gabe’s portable toilets with his daughters intended inside and Gabe and his trusty gang, led by Jed (Fairbrass) head off to get their property back and teach the ‘Russians’ a lesson in good old British hospitality. Of course the leader of the European gang Cristi (Midwinter) is non too impressed with the destruction Gabe causes and vows to seek his revenge. Throw in a sub plot with one of Gabe’s sons being involved with the underground fighting and you have your plot.

As far as British gangster thrillers go this one is not too bad (though far from the best). All the while I watching though, I couldn’t help but expect Danny Dyer to pop up somewhere (which he doesn’t thankfully) and in fairness to him, it would have probably elevated this film. I’m unsure if this was meant to be taken seriously or not or if it was all firmly tongue-in-cheek stuff, as there are some genuinely funny scenes, but were they intended, I guess that’s down to interpretation.

Acting is reasonable from the likes of Fairbrass and Midwinter is suitably manic and crazy as the head bad guy. Andrew Tiernan (lock Stock, 200 & The Pianist) also pops up with a smaller role and it’s good to see him, although would rather see him in bigger budget stuff. The plot itself (and likewise the script) are a little over the top and won’t be winning any awards anytime in the near future.

With a budget of only two and a half million one cannot expect too much, given that this is an average gangster type flick. Not a great film but worth maybe looking out for if you like the gritty British type stuff and have ninety minutes to spare. Don’t expect to blown away though.


The Sage’s Rating:

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