13th Mar2020

‘Nothing Man’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Daniel Hall, Jennifer Jordan, Ric Vince, Tony Goodall, Paul Mayo Mason, Christopher Tauers, Arron Dennis, Joe Buckton | Written by Jonathan Ashdown, Paul Butler, Stephen Gallacher | Directed by Stephen Gallacher

nothing-man-poster

There seems to be so many low budget British gangster/revenge thriller movies released every year you’d be forgiven to be at all bothered about any of them. It’s not a genre of movies I cover a lot of yet it seems I get emails about a new release almost weekly. So to say I was excited about Nothing Man would be a lie. That said, the brief synopsis I read before viewing it did at least sound more intriguing than most.

The synopsis described a homeless amnesiac searching for answers to his best friends murder, even if it opens up questions about his own past.

For good chunks of the movie, the filmmakers here should at least be commended for not making this like every other British gangster movie. There is plenty of the ‘tough guy’ mentality and one dimensional characters but they do fit in a bit of an interesting story around it all.

But maybe the biggest difference between Nothing Man and other similar films is how the film looks. It’s shot in quite a unique way, a way which is at least in part due to its low budget. This includes lots of close-ups, the odd shaky camera and a style that helps with the gritty tone the director seems to be going for. When thinking back about the movie after viewing it, it almost feels like it was shot in black and white even though I know it wasn’t. There’s a very dreary and dark look to it all. At times, it briefly has the feel of a Shane Meadows movie but it also feels like the director and cinematography are trying their hardest to make it look anything but British.

But the originality of Nothing Man‘s style is one of only a few positives. It has a slow pace to proceedings. Even the ‘action’ barely livens things up. Maybe I’m being a bit unfair because this is supposed to be a more dialogue-heavy, character and story focused movie but unfortunately the story isn’t interesting enough. While the acting, because the inexperience of many of the actors is, at best, a mixed bag. On the whole, the actors struggle with any scenes that involve a degree of intensity. The good guys become a bit boring and the villains look anything but tough. Some laughably so. Unfortunately the final ten minutes of the movie is when this is prevalent more than ever. Of all the actors, I though Ric Vince as Twink showed some natural charisma but he wasn’t in the movie anywhere near long enough.

The script is a bit all over the place too. At its best (as are the actors) when characters are just in normal conversation (the early moments of the film are the most entertaining) but at its worst when it just tries anything a little complicated. The story becomes a little unbelievable and the ‘twists’ are way to obvious.

An inexperienced cast, crew and director deserve some credit here. There’s lots of potential but in the end Nothing Man just plods along to become somewhat watchable and not a lot else.

** 2/5

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