When reviewing an independent British-made production, a tiny part of you feels obliged to be kind. After all it’s important that everyone supports the UK film industry, especially in this current economic climate, and nobody wants a home grown flick to flop. Unfortunately, John Landridge’s debut feature Four (2011) is so mundane it’s difficult to highlight the positives in order to coax you into purchasing a copy.
Featuring only four characters (the clue’s in the title) and set in a single location, a random warehouse in a random city the premise is interesting enough. A Husband (George Morris) hires a detective (Sean Pertwee) to kidnap his wives Lover (Craig Conway) and the opening scenes featuring an anonymous person tied to chair with a bag on his head as Sean Pertwee’s character subjects them to a beating is the stuff of compelling suspense and demands your attention.
Unfortunately, things begin to slide pretty quickly when Pertwee references and parodies the Reservoir Dogs (1992) torture scene, and it’s so sloppy and obvious you’ll be tempted to book a taxi round to the screen writers house and take his Tarantino films away.
The main twist reveal is tedious and the plot gets more and more confusing but Four’s biggest crime is how god damn boring it is. If you’re going to set your film a single location with a limited cast then the star of the show has to be the dialogue but other than Pertwee, who manages to squeeze a bit of life out of the lines the rest of the cast are floundering. One particular ramble by Craig Conway is so awful it beggars belief it was included in the final cut and although none of the actors shine, the majority of the blame lies in the script which should be given to budding writers as an example of how a good idea can go bad.
Four is yet another example of a poor British film based on a poor British script. At a rumoured cost of £500,000 you have to question how wisely that money was spent.