Level Up

Dir: Adam Randall, 2016

7/10

level_up

A good example of what British cinema is capable of.

Matt (Josh Bowman) is a lazy young lad with an, unlikely, fit girlfriend, Anna.

Content with sitting around and drinking while playing computer games, he has very little ambition or get up and go. There are clear tensions in the relationship.

Until, that is, thugs break into his house, knock him unconscious and kidnap his girlfriend.

Waking up, he finds he has been given a mobile phone that texts instruction to him that he must carry out or Anna dies.

Matt has to race across London trying to complete these tasks, with people stopping him and hindering his success.

It reminded me very much of 30 Minutes Or Less and the Thai film 13: Game Of Death

Whereas that film was comedy, this is pure thriller. And a very good one at that.

Made for less than half a million pound, first time feature length director and co-writer Randall has produced a pulsing film with plenty of thrills and excitement.

Level Up has an assortment of chilling characters and a hero that isn’t really a hero. He’s just been dropped in at the deep end.

This facet makes a change to the usual gung-ho character, who suddenly develops an expertise in combat and steps up to the mark taking down any adversary swiftly and effortlessly.

Matt is not a fighter. He gets a good hiding on more than one occasion. The character is real with real flaws.

Randall has created authentic and believable characters and accurately depicted London and its many boroughs.

That’s not to say that the film doesn’t have a few issues.

A glaring problem that plagues the film is the abundance of loose ends and improbabilities.

The film explains why these people are trying to stop him in his mission but doesn’t explain what, ultimately, happens to them.

After a failed execution of a drug dealer, Matt is chased by him and his gang but manages to escape on a moped.

Neither the gang nor the drug dealer are mentioned again. And this is after Matt stole his phone, which doesn’t come into play anymore. The phone is made redundant.

There is no explanation as to how the people setting the tasks know all about him.

The director has kept the violence to a minimum, but the little there is has a strong feel to it with rather snappy sound effects.

Well choreographed, should he choose to pursue this line of genre, Adam Randall shows great promise in action films, specifically hand to hand combat much like Gareth Evans did with The Raid.

If a little more thought had gone into the inconsistencies and, perhaps, injected a tad more action, it would have a solid score of 9.

Not to worry, though, because what we do have is a great piece of entertainment who I’ll keep an eye out for and hope to see more of in the future.

 

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