Newest Reviews
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1
First Cow
Undiscovered Tomb
Being Frank
Occupation: Rainfall
Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
  Shopping Hey Jude
Year: 1994
Director: Paul W.S. Anderson
Stars: Sadie Frost, Jude Law, Sean Pertwee, Fraser James, Sean Bean, Marianne Faithfull, Jonathan Pryce, Daniel Newman, Lee Whitlock, Ralph Ineson, Eamonn Walker, Jason Isaacs, Chris Constantinou, Tilly Vosburgh, Melanie Hill, Grant Russell
Genre: Drama, ActionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Billy (Jude Law) gets out of prison today after three months, and one of the top detectives, Conway (Jonathan Pryce) who has noted him as a potential, major troublemaker is there to offer some words of wisdom. But when he asks Billy what he’s learnt from his time inside, all the answer he receives is "Don't get caught", and the young offender is soon out of the gates and picked up by his girlfriend Jo (Sadie Frost) in a stolen car he is unimpressed by. Couldn't she have gotten a better set of wheels than this? There's only one way to remedy the situation, and that’s to bump into a BMW at the lights, then when the owner gets out to inspect the damage, they steal his car instead, leaving him shouting after them uselessly...

Shopping was the movie that introduced director Paul W.S. Anderson to the world, for it was his debut feature though not necessarily an indication of where his heart lay, which was more on the action side of things than the social commentary that this threw a sop to. It was very much a 1994 film as it took as its topics the tabloid-baiting escapades of young ruffians whose idea of a good night out was ramraiding and joyriding, two hot button subjects that were guaranteed to get it column inches as an example of glamorising a criminal lifestyle. The news moved on, and so did the movies, leaving this as more notable for its fumbling steps towards Cool Britannia that Trainspotting would well and truly embrace come the following year.

What that had and this crucially lacked was a sense of humour, with its forced melodrama, pity for its dead end characters, and general "Crusher’s dead!" dialogue you knew was supposed to be edgy because of the number of times the F-word was implemented. For all its supposed immorality in the depiction of rootless young folks whose only diversion is lawbreaking, to the extent that it has become their sole purpose in life, there was a very earnest, almost social worker-type shaking of the head and look of concern about Billy and Jo and the rest, though Anderson's script failed to find them any kind of redemption, preferring the nihilism that was cool at the time. If you care about something, that makes you vulnerable, after all.

And Billy is vulnerable every time he reaches out to be truly bothered about someone or something, even his dilapidated caravan that he has been made to move into when his mother refuses to allow him to stay in their flat. Everything about this highlighted the worst estate in the city setting, an urban landscape where everything has gone down the dumper and hope is laughed off the screen, if anyone was laughing, which they usually weren't. It was supposed to be located in the nineties of the near future, though you'd be forgiven for not noticing at this remove for it appeared contemporary, not least because of Brit Pack stars Law and Frost in the leads (Frost adopting a dodgy Northern Irish accent for reasons best known to herself) and fellow members Sean Bean and Sean Pertwee in support.

A few not bad bits aside, such as Jo expressing her disdain for the yuppie's taste in music by throwing his cassettes of Billy Joel, Dire Straits and Whitney Houston at the police cars pursuing them during a high speed chase down a tunnel, you couldn't quite escape the "elegantly slumming" tone, with characters aspiring to consumerism you just knew the moviemakers had more than comfortable access to in their actual lives. Pryce was on board to look stern and mildly compassionate as a representative of authority, but most of this was Frost and Law emoting about the poor hand life has dealt their characters broken up with the odd action sequence, as much as Anderson could manage on his budget - he saved a Smokey and the Bandit stunt for his final couple of minutes, just so the audience would come away feeling they hadn't been entirely shortchanged in that department. Shopping was neither one thing (gritty social realism) nor the other (flashy action drama), and a bit of a relic for Generation X. Music by Barrington Pheloung, with a fashionable array of tunes (Sabres of Paradise, Credit to the Nation, Orbital) mixed in.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2001 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film


Paul W.S. Anderson  (1965 - )

British director who specialises in noisy, flashy sci-fi action. Made his debut in 1994 with the ram-raiding thriller Shopping, and scored his biggest critical success in 1997 with the scary space shocker Event Horizon. Anderson's Kurt Russell vehicle Soldier was a costly flop, but his computer game adaptations Mortal Kombat and Resident Evil proved more entertaining than they probably should have done. His Alien Vs. Predator was a hit, but was controversial amongst fans of the two franchises. Remake Death Race, a liberal version of The Three Musketeers and more Resident Evil sequels followed before he had a go at 3D peplum with Pompeii. Not to be confused with Magnolia director Paul Thomas Anderson.

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

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
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: