Vinnie Jones. Hollywood hard man. Who once crushed Paul Gascoigne’s nuts during a football match. Stars in Redirected. A British crime caper with a Lithuanian twist. It’s big, ballsy, and swears like a sailor on shore leave.
It’s the kind of film that would have been given a four-star review in the elephant bone yard of 90’s era lads mags like FHM, Loaded and Maxim. An unholy mashup of Guy Ritchie’s slick cockney geezer porn, with Todd Phillips’ oeuvre for sexting, cheap long-haul flights and large scale comedy disaster set-pieces. And they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Much like the Stella Artois-fuelled grieving process that the subscribers of Nuts Magazine went through on learning of its cancellation, Redirected is a bit of a mixed bag. Michael (Scott Williams) is an icon of Englishness as a member of the Queen’s Guard, who on the eve of proposing to his girlfriend is kidnapped by his mate Johnny (Gil Darnell), and forced into robbing Golden Pole’s (Vinnie Jones) illegal poker game. Johnny and his first time thieving friends Tim (Oliver Jackson) and Ben (Anthony Strachan) dreams’ of the perfect Malaysian getaway are scuppered when an Icelandic volcano erupts, and their plane is redirected to Lithuania.
A travelogue of The Hangover Part II-type proportions filmed on 1/10th of the budget follows our hapless hero Michael and his frenemies as they try to escape a rogue’s gallery of crooked cops, street walkers and irate barrel chested farmers, who all have their eyes on the boys’ loot. Unlike the bromantic bonding of ‘The Wolfpack’, writer and director (Emillis Velyvis) splits the boys up and throws them to the four corners of Lithuania. With the arrival of a snarling Jones and his Cro-Magnon thugs a heavy session of coincidental events and bare bottom farce ensues.
At times the story feels fragmented and the characters are serviceable but the action is shot with flare, pace and ambition. And nitpicking over cultural stereotypes, sexism, and how many times the word ‘fuck’ can be crammed into a single line of dialogue feels a bit redundant. Redirected is destined to find favour with international audiences hungry for a boozy British lads mag adventure and that’s just what they will get.