When I heard ‘Mickey The Idiot’ (Noel Clarke) from Doctor Who wrote the screenplay for his own film, Kidulthood (great name), I wasn’t sure what to think. My main thought was ‘oh, it’s another Brit film showcasing the plight of the poor minority/druggies/idiots (delete as appropriate) ‘. Sure enough, that’s exactly what it was, but it was actually pretty good. Clarke played Sam, the tough young black kid, from the block, who knows the streets and who is also from da ghetto (how many white guy clichés were in that sentence? You decide!).
Adulthood (see what they did there?*) is the story of Sam (Clarke again, reprising his role from Kidulthood) seen from his perspective after his release from prison for a crime committed in the first film. The film would have you believe that he is a changed man and that he doesn’t want any trouble.
Unfortunately, where the film falls down is failing to convince you that he should be viewed as a sympathetic protagonist, with the film going almost out of its way to show you that he is in fact a complete douchebag. It’s hard not to be prejudiced when the guy murdered someone who was going to be a father. That crossed some sort of primal line. This same child is mostly in one scene when the mother is talking to Sam at the door of her house. The mother calls the child to the door, mostly so Sam can get a look at her and then she dismisses the daughter. Who then goes and sits in a corner where her main duty is to look sad. Seriously, she’s a kid. Are they telling us that she didn’t have anything better to do in the slightest? Kids like jumping and noise, she could’ve done either of those things!
One main gripe that I had with this film is that the ‘urban’ music (I presume it’s urban, mainly because I do not want to call it ‘black’ music) that occasionally pops up is much louder than the rest of the fucking film. I mean, the rest of the film consists of characters quietly slagging off or beating one another, and then CRANK THAT FUNKY MUSIC, YOU THE MOVIE VIEWER, HAVE UNWITTINGLY ENTERED A RAVE!
Like its predecessor, it tries to showcase the life and poverty of teens and young adults in London. The problem is, it succeeded. How is that a problem, you may ask? Because it made me want to bang my head against a brick wall due to the way they portrayed Black London.
And it is Black London, because out of a cast of about ten to twenty, I counted maybe two to three important white characters. There are a couple of Minor Whiteys, such as Nick Briggs (he who Exterminates Doctors…) and Danny Dyer, who helps contribute a “this is definitely London, ’cause I’m a Cockney, guvnor!” feel to things. Like we needed more of that. Thank you, Danny Dyer**.
My overall verdict, in case it wasn’t obvious by the tone of the review is: Do not watch this movie. It is not healthy for you by any stretch of the imagination and it makes you despise your fellow man. Kidulthood, while much the same, is at least more tolerable and is just a better movie. If you have to, read the Wikipedia synopsis that I have helpfully linked to below.
Here there be spoilers: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adulthood_(film)#Plot
*Don’t worry, if you didn’t, the film’s tagline will leave you in no doubt.
** Never thought I’d say that…