12th Mar2019

‘Slaughterhouse Rulez’ Blu-ray Review

by Jak-Luke Sharp

Stars: Finn Cole, Asa Butterfield, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Michael Sheen, Margot Robbie, Hermione Corfield, Jo Hartley, Jamie Blackley, Isabella Laughland, Tom Rhys Harries, Kit Connor, Hanako Footman, Jane Stanness | Written by Crispian Mills, Henry Fitzherbert | Directed by Crispian Mills

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Slaughterhouse Rulez, directed by Crispian Mills, is the first produced joint venture between Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s production company Stolen Picture. The two also star in this campy comedy flick that is mash-up of Edgar Wright’s beloved British comedy Shaun of the Dead and Neil Marshall’s cult-classic underground monster movie Dog Soldiers, released in 2004 and 2002 respectively. However, Slaughterhouse Rulez feels more of a hollow homage of sorts – a thinly veiled layer of both horror and comedy that is sadly entirely derivative of any and all of Edgar Wright’s filmography, albeit with a decent screenplay and character craft.

The performances are undoubtedly the key highlight of this production. Lead star Finn Cole is going from strength to strength after his breakout role as Michael Gray alongside his brother Joe Cole in Steven Knight’s BBC series Peaky Blinders, as well as exposing his talents over the pond with his supporting role as Joshua ‘J’ Cody in TNT’s Animal Kingdom, based on the 2010 David Michôd film of the same name. Cole brings a terrific level of bravado, comedic timing and most importantly a level of sheer likeability as Don Wallace in a film that explores the vainest and pedantic elements of unlikeable British youth and social classism. Asa Butterfield puts forward another terrific performance in a now flourishing filmography that showcases his wonderful skill and talent in his chosen craft. Butterfield stars as Willoughby Blake a character with profound poignant layers echoed and layered in a tremendous performance.

The screenplay, by writer-director Crispian Mills and Henry Fitzherbert, is the significant blunder of Slaughterhouse Rulez. A rather lacklustre and insufficiently cheap in terms of endearment and comedy, the latter arguably the most profoundly underwhelming attribute the film holds. Half the time it suffers in an ugly cringe-worthy fashion due to how childlike the context is. It is more so infuriating than anything else, especially considering the talent on screen.

The screenplay also struggles to convey significant depth or layers in much, if not all, the cast. Aside from Butterfields’ Willoughby Blake character, of whom is granted the most depth, the cast is either bland or nameless supporting players. Even Finn Cole, aside from the prologue, has little to zero depth concerning his predicament, therefore the emotional connection is a sparse attribute and a limitation. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have little to do and even when they’re on screen the writing and arcs are sadly baseless and dull, even if their’s are integral roles played within the film. Pegg namely has an absurd and utterly pointless subplot with no other than Margot Robbie playing an old flame. A redundant and completely absurd avenue that adds zilch to the unfolding proceedings.

Slaughterhouse Rulez is out now on DVD and Blu-ray from Sony Pictures.

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