14 July 2000
Source: The Guardian (Film Unlimited)
Such is the parlous state of British cinema these days, that simple competence can feel like a substantial achievement. Essex Boys is an imaginary backstory to the Rettendon Range Rover murders and, put together by TV directing-producing team Terry Winsor and Jeff Pope, possesses the now-precious virtues of coherence and workmanlike efficiency.
Sean Bean is the central figure, an acid-throwing nutter fresh out of jail and desperate for a drug connection to provide some financial security; Alex "Moll Flanders" Kingston his hard-as-nails wife.
And though asked to provide yards of geezer-esque voiceover, Charlie Creed-Miles outdoes the pair of them as wannabe-face Billy, a likely lad behind the wheel.
What, however, saves Essex Boys from foundering in the mire that's sucked down practically all recent British gangster films is its intelligent use of the county's locations, from the Southend seafront to the north bank of the Dartford river crossing.
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