Jack Falls paints itself as a British noir film. It follows undercover police officer, Jack Adleth (Simon Phillips), who survives an attempted assassination and plots his trail of vengeance. It is the third in a trilogy of films directed by Paul Tanter, who also wrote the graphic novels. With no experience of the previous films, I watched Jack Falls. Understandably there are characters and back plot set up in the those, but I found myself completely lost at times in terms of who was up to what, with flashback sequences and random characters appearing very frequently.
This is as much noir as turning a Danny Dyer film black and white, and slapping the label noir on top. Incidentally, Danny Dyer is actually in the second film of the trilogy. The acting all round for the most part felt incredibly wooden. The lead actor Simon Philips at times had such a laden accent that sentences passed by in a single syllable blur. The only decent acting came from Jason Flemyng and Dexter Fletcher. Even so I was confused as to what Jason Flemyng’s character actually contributed to the whole.
The comic Sin City look for me just didn’t work with color thrown in pretty much indiscriminatly, adding absolutely nothing to the visual look, almost to cover an inherent cheapness. Sometimes the isolated colour would be rich and at other times it felt tacky, as if that was the only primary colour in a scene so therefore had to be left in. The action felt incredibly mediocre, with no energy and sluggish fight sequences. There is a fight in which the villain brandishes two knives and Jack grabs a pair of ice skates. What is supposed to be a Bourne-esque fight sequence, in actuality, resembles a slow brawl between two pub goers.
Jack Falls unfortunately manages to go from A to B, with incredibly one dimensional characters who are so transparent that by the end it is as if we’ve gone in an incredibly lazy circle rooted to one spot. But if you’re sold on my pitch of “Eastenders meets Sin City”, then perhaps this film is worth a watch.
movie rating: 2/5