‘Once Upon a Time in London’ is a British produced film set around the 1930’s and the battle between two mob families battling it out to dominate the organised criminal underworld. Starring the likes of Jamie Foreman (Layer Cake), Andy Beckwith (Game of Thrones), Leo Gregory (Green Street) and Kate Braithwaite (Little Deaths), the film itself is surrounded by a lot of actors who have played bit parts in many TV shows and movies. When it comes to extending their screen time to more than 10 minutes, the majority of the cast do struggle to keep the film afloat at the best of times. What doesn’t help the film is having ex-footballers and participants of ‘X-Factor’ star in the film when they clearly don’t have any acting talent. The inexperience shows big time, especially for a film that is clocking towards the two hour mark.
I have to admit, watching this was a real struggle. As mentioned above, the run time is exceptionally long for what it is. The excessive use of violence and sex was unnecessary and the film felt too carbon copied from other projects such as ‘Peaky Blinders’ and any Guy Ritchie film. I draw these two comparisons due to the time period that is similar to the UK TV show and the use of freeze frames used in this film to narrate and explain a characters backstory, which is used famously in Guy Ritchie films like ‘Lock Stock’ and ‘Snatch’. There was no originality in this film and it’s certainly one I wouldn’t be recommending.
Once Upon a Time in London is available on DVD in the UK on the 10th June.