Starred Up

Starred Up ★★½

Competently made but unfortunately I couldn't feel any sympathy for the protagonist Eric, his dad or any other characters that we were supposed to root for since everyone here is a despicable asshole. There's thousands of films with anti-heroes and flawed protagonists that despite not necessarily being a typical good person, manage to convey an emotional side of themselves that makes them sympathetic. What we get here, is a bunch of angry chavs in prison - that's it. There's an attempt to have 19 year-old Eric grow into a man inside prison, by harnessing his anger issues and reconciling with his father. But personally, I just could not feel anything positive for this pretty despicable character at all. Sure, he matures to an extent about two thirds through the film, but all that good work is undone during the finale. His dad, who we're also supposed to root for by the end, is even worse, and while I appreciate the attempt at realism (though some ridiculous against-the-odds fight scenes pushed that to the limit) there was just nothing that made me care what happened to anyone in this prison. The acting is good, the directing is fine, the script is average at best and seems to think that the more swear words violently spat out = better story. My favourite moment of the whole thing was where, after all the cunts, fucks, shits, bastards and every other word under the sun gets thrown around at will, someone actually says "Hey man, I think you got some doo-doo in your hair." What a badass.

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