Thursday, 28 January 2021

The Business (2005)

"My old man wrote me a letter from prison once. It said if you don't want to end up in here, stay away from crime, women and drugs. Trouble is, that don't leave you much else to do, does it?"

That quote starts The Business, and it's not a bad start. In fact, the first act of The Business is quite a pleasant surprise. And then it starts to go downhill, leading to a third act that has lines of dialogue like the following: "The good thing about losing everything is there was nothing else to lose."

Danny Dyer plays Frankie, a young lad who ends up heading from London to Spain when he needs to lay low for some time. He delivers a bag to the charismatic Charlie (Tamer Hassan), a club owner and big cheese in town. Charlie works with his hot-headed partner, Sammy (Geoff Bell). And what follows is the rise and fall of some typical British gangster types.

Written and directed by Nick Love (who apparently didn't meet a FILA-wearing thug he didn't like), The Business is a mass of things you've seen done before, and done better. It glamorises the lifestyle shown onscreen, despite the section showing the downfall of certain characters, and it accompanies many scenes with a lively '80s soundtrack.

Which isn't to say that this isn't a fun watch when it is getting some things right. It's hard to not enjoy watching people swan about in sunny Spain while some great tunes are playing, but the fun factor starts to disappear as soon as, well, the fun disappears. 

Dyer does a good job in the main role. It’s well within his wheelhouse, of course, but he does everything well, particularly in the early scenes that have him trying to do well while being a lot less cocky than he becomes later. Hassan is the big-hearted, “good”, criminal boss, for the most part, and it’s one of his better roles. And Bell gets to be the typical psycho who causes things to spiral. Not forgetting Georgina Chapman, the woman who turns heads, and knows it. Chapman does fine in a role that is typical of how women are viewed by these kinds of characters. Other familiar faces appear in small roles, but the focus remains on Dyer, Hassan, Bell, and Chapman. 

Although not for everyone, and there are probably a number of people who will enjoy it for all the wrong reasons, this is quite an easy film to enjoy if you are in the mood for what it is aiming to provide. It’s one of the better movies that Dyer has done. Although that isn’t saying much, considering he is an actor with Run For Your Wife in his filmography. 


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