14 July 2000
Source: The Mirror
Essex Boys is based on a true story of crime,
betrayal, and violent retribution, and is very good indeed. Told
in voice-over by a young taxi driver called Billy (CCM), the film
manages to successfully recreate the superfically attractive but
horrifically savage world of the modern world drugs dealer.
Unlike so many latter-day crime films which tend to glamourise the nastier elements of society, Essex Boys shows up these men for the cold, unhappy wrecks they are.
Sean Bean is spot-on as the recently released Jason Locke, a thug who favours acid as a method of
finishing off his opponents, and ER star Alex Kingston is a revelation as his wife, Lisa. The whole cast is tremendous and the script is both powerful and acutely observant.
Essex Boys deserves a place in the list of Top 10 modern crime films if only for its uncompromising and unsettling approach. There are no lovable rogues here, no super-intelligent serial killers, no spun-out torture scenes with hip hop music pumping away in the background - just a bunch of average people living out their brutal, miserable lives somewhere in Essex.
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