HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Critters Attack
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
Hellboy
Pond Life
Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, The
Third Wife, The
Shazam!
Follow Me
Leto
Fugitive Girls
Missing Link
Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, The
Pet Sematary
Oh... Rosalinda!!
Dumbo
Kaleidoscope
Night Is Short, Walk On Girl
Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang, The
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Klute
Meow
Killer Crocodile
Nutcracker Prince, The
Secret World of Og, The
Benjamin
Fifth Cord, The
Man Could Get Killed, A
Cyborg 009: Kaiju War
Heavy Trip
Nightmare Weekend
Blue Ice
Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday, The
Incident, The
Hell's Angels
Heaven and Earth
Flatliners
Us
mid90s
   
 
Newest Articles
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
Things Have Changed: Films You'd Be Insane to Make Now
The Hole in the Ground: Director Lee Cronin Interview
She's Missing: Director Alexandra McGuinness Interview
Woo's the Boss: Last Hurrah for Chivalry & Hand of Death on Blu-ray
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
   
 
  Five Fingers for Marseilles Under African SkiesBuy this film here.
Year: 2017
Director: Michael Matthews
Stars: Vuyo Dabula, Zethu Dlomo, Hamilton Dhlamini, Kenneth Nkosi, Mduduzi Mabaso, Aubrey Poolo, Lizwi Vilakazi, Jerry Mofokeng, Warren Masemola, Dean Fourie, Kenneth Fok, Anthony Oseyemi, Brendon Daniels, Garth Breytenbach
Genre: Western, Drama, Thriller
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Twenty years ago, these five friends out in a middle of nowhere town in South Africa would meet up to play their games, but as they grew older those games grew more serious with them. When they were confronted by the sight of two local police officers taking money as part of a corruption racket, the boys decided to fight back and sent missiles in their direction from their vantage point on the village's rooves, but when their female hanger-on went too far and drew blood with a rock, she was packed into the back of the police van and driven off. One of the boys, Tau, gave chase on his bike and managed to crash the vehicle - what happened next would mark him for the rest of his life.

If the prospect of an African Western has you salivating, then Five Fingers to Marseilles should by all rights have been a shoo-in for one of your favourite movies of the twenty-tens. It assuredly looked terrific, all rolling landscapes of harsh beauty, vast, endless skies and a parade of interesting faces filling the screen as they played their power games that had gone beyond childish things and become adult endeavours. So far, so good, right? And there were some favourable reactions to what director Michael Matthews and writer Sean Drummond conjured up; however, you may be more likely to nod reluctantly with the voices of dissent, who observed glaring issues throughout.

It's not as if it was a bad movie, it had a strong premise, that striking scenery, and a cast who were obviously very invested in their roles, it was just that inside this two hour experience a ninety minute (or shorter) piece was struggling to get out. The pace was achingly slow, which was all very well if you were prepared for an art movie, but even the slowest of classic Westerns, such as Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West (a blatant influence on this), were careful to apply variety of plot, visual or character, even humour, to their productions, and there was not one laugh to be garnered anywhere in Matthews' efforts, you were practically under instruction to take it deadly seriously.

Building on a "child is the father of the man" theme for its plot, Five Fingers to Marseilles did its best to craft an ominous atmosphere, but in effect this simply made you increasingly impatient for the showdown you knew was coming yet was taking an age to arrive. After the fairly substantial introduction, where Tau shoots dead the two officers after believing the girl is dead when she isn't and is shown the door to prison, we catch up with him as an outlaw seeking the quiet life on return to his hometown. Fat chance of that when there is a turf war underway between the Mayor, his old pal, and the gangster who means to use violence to get his property as he sees fit, and Tau (now played by Vuyo Dabula) is, wouldn't you know it, caught in the middle and in danger of being shot by both sides.

Matthews presented a fine array of distinctive faces, understanding that was a crucial aspect of those classic Spaghetti Westerns of yore, all the better for those closeups of phizogs bathed in perspiration, and there was nothing wrong with the acting. Even the plot, though well-worn, was offered a kick of originality by its setting in Africa, in the apartheid era (those flashbacks) as well as the modern one (for the present day), but the whole shebang tended to simply sit there on the screen with a dismaying inertness. Not helping was the lack of real surprises: when Tau is riddled with bullets, it should be an arresting moment, yet the film had made it clear he was our hero and that it was not about to give up on him just yet. Naturally it ended in a bloodbath, having us muse over whether the victors had enjoyed a pyrrhic victory, but to put it bluntly, this could have done with a heck of a lot more action. Still, the seeds of a promising collection of talents were here, maybe they only needed a better sense of editing. Music by James Matthes.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 101 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Darren Jones
   

 

Last Updated: