HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Knuckledust First Man Standing
Year: 2020
Director: James Kermack
Stars: Olivier Richters, Kate Dickie, Phil Davis, Amy Bailey, Moe Dunford, Gethin Anthony, Jaime Winstone, Alex Ferns, Yolanda Lynes, Guillaume Delaunay, Camille Rowe, Sebastian Foucan, David Schaal, Christy O'Donnell, James Kermack, Chris Patrick-Simpson
Genre: Drama, Action, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: In this underground meeting, something terrible has occurred, a mass murder that appears to have resulted from some form of tournament of combat, leaving one man standing, known only as Hard Eight (Moe Dunford). Is he genuinely so skilled at fighting that he was able to murder all these men around him, or has something else occurred? Chief Inspector Katherine Keaton (Kate Dickie) has been brought in to find out what has gone on, and to that end she interviews her witness for he is the sole person who appears to know what really happened that night. But as her interrogation drags on, it becomes clear hardly anyone is on the level, and everyone has a secret or two they are trying to keep hidden for as long as possible...

When Quentin Tarantino arrived on the movie scene in the early-to-mid nineteen-nineties, he not only spawned a whole rash of copycat, ultraviolent, chatty thrillers and crime dramas, but he made it acceptable to bring the filmmakers' inspirations to the surface. Before him, anyone making such blatant reference to their influences was either indulging in parody or labelled a hack, someone who did not have enough ideas of their own so was appropriating others'. This could be regarded as part of the sampling culture born of hip-hop, but it did create a climate of film that we continued to live with decades later, well into the following century, as everyone was at it, from big names to smaller ones, though arguably the main trigger for these, Brian De Palma, was left somewhat in the cold.

Director-writer-star James Kermack certainly had the talent to make an impact on the crowded market of films in this vein, but considering he was confident enough to lift bits and pieces from various modern touchstones like John Wick or many a Guy Ritchie flick, not to mention an entire sequence nicked from Park Chan-wook's Oldboy (the corridor attack scene), you kind of wish he had applied that ability to something more original. Or if not original - because this far into pop culture it was difficult to bring up fresh notions of what you could do with genre pieces without going full on weirdo or experimental - then at least putting all the sections in an order that would be more interesting than a string of references, and how often had we seen a movie try to pull the rug from under us with a "you thought this but it's actually that, aah" wrap-up?

Kermack tried to sustain our interest by using Robert Rodriguez's trick of casting a whole bunch of folks, some more recognisable than others, then peppering their scenes throughout the running time to make sure he got value for money from actors who would not be needed for the entirety of the shoot. Though Knuckledust was not what you would call starry, there were a few familiar faces: Dickie an indie stalwart (though maybe best known for Game of Thrones), Phil Davis as a hitman, Jaime Winstone as a fellow inspector, Guillaume Delaunay (who may not be a well-kent name but certainly a face you would never forget) as a fighter, soap star Alex Ferns as the top man, and so on. They brought a cohesion to a film that constantly threatened to spiral out of control, so overcomplicated that you could be forgiven for being none the wiser after the solution to the mystery was presented, yet there was a surface engagement as it did look very slick, and a number of parts hit the mark from someone who had the ability but needed more discipline. Worth taking a chance on for Brit crime enthusiasts, nonetheless (and with animation, too). Music by Walter Mair.

[Knuckledust is released in the UK on digital by Samuel Goldwyn Films on 11th December 2020.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1294 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: