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Featured DVD Review: Mob Rules

May 14th, 2011

Mob Rules - Buy from Amazon

Mob Rules, a.k.a., Tic, is a low-budget gangster movie from first-time writer / director / producer Keith Parmer. It was released in the U.K. last year but is coming out this week direct-to-DVD. Is it a film that is likely to slip between the cracks, but does it deserve a better fate?

The Movie

Anton (played Treva Etienne) and Tyrone (played by Gary McDonald) are two burglars targeting rich houses in North London. The pair quote Shakespeare, look at the fancy works of art, but can't find anything worth stealing. (At least anything worth stealing that isn't too easy to trace.) While Tyrone mentions his mom always told him to move to America and become a gangster rapper, Anton sees a toy soldier and the two combine to spark a memory. Ten years earlier, he was part of a heist to steal $250,000 from a Turkish sheik. However, the plan fell apart and Anton's brother was killed, while the other person involved, C-Note (Lennie James), stole all of the money and left for America. Anton tells Tyrone that they should head to America to reclaim that money.

When they arrive in Los Angeles, they know they will need a plan, and they know they will need some start up cash. The cash is easy, just rob a pusher. The planning is going to take longer. C-Note is not someone who takes a lot of chances, but he also has to deal with internal problems from a jilted mistress (Tina Casciani) to underlings on coke. As they prepare for their latest heist, we see flashbacks to the heist Anton was on that went wrong.

Of course, all of these details are well into spoiler territory, but I think that's enough of the plot to get a feel for the movie. It is a film that does have plenty of style, even if this style does feel borrowed from a few other films. Maybe it's the British accents, but the movie reminded me of the collective works of Guy Ritchie. Fortunately, this is not a real problem for me, as I love almost everything Guy Ritchie has made. If you are going to borrow, borrow from a good source. The film also has a nice dry sense of humor that matches the style nicely.

On the downside, it builds up to a climax that doesn't quite payoff. Maybe it was inexperience that led Keith Parmer to write himself into a corner he couldn't get out of. It hurts the overall experience, but even so, the film works as a whole.

The Extras

There are interviews with the writer / director and the four main leads, as well as a music video. That does remind me, the film has a good score.

The Verdict

Mob Rules has a lot going for it, including a script with style, and actors that are able to handle the dialogue. The ending isn't as satisfying as the buildup, but enough works that is it worth checking out. The DVD isn't devoid of extras, but it is not loaded either. Call it a solid rental, leaning towards a purchase.


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