x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Wild overreaching prevails in Noel Clarke's 4.3.2.1

Noel Clarke, the populist purveyor of council flat theatrics, from Kidulthood to Adulthood, wildly overreaches in the fatally misfired multi-strand thriller 4.3.2.1.

4.3.2.1. 

Director: Noel Clarke. 

Starring: Emma Roberts, Noel Clarke, Tamsin Egerton

*

Noel Clarke, the populist purveyor of council flat theatrics, from Kidulthood(as writer) to Adulthood (as writer and director), wildly overreaches in the fatally misfired multi-strand thriller 4.3.2.1. 

Boasting only the most superficial echoes of modern non-chronological classics such as, say, Pulp Fiction or Amores Perros, Clarke constructs a re-looping narrative about four zany girlfriends who scale minor character arcs while becoming accidentally involved in a major heist of Dutch diamonds. Thus, after a brief meeting in a fast-food restaurant in a west London shopping centre, we watch unfold the four separate stories of the feisty American Joanne (Emma Roberts), the posh pianist Cassandra (Tamsin Egerton), the sporty Kerrys (Shanika Warren-Markland) and the perpetually weepy Shannon (Ophelia Lovibond). 

Here, as the most clichéd and hackneyed bits of Clarke's DVD collection seem to collide in his mind, and thus on screen, we get Shannon's ridiculous street-side encounter with, ahem, a real-life karate-chopping assassin babe called Kelly (Michelle Ryan). We get Kerrys trapped in a posh apartment's panic room. And we get Tamsin in New York duped by an internet cad; and Joanne in a London corner shop, drooling over her tough but universally desired boss, played by, yup, Noel Clarke himself. And it gets worse: the line-readings are horrifically poor and there is no actual sense of how the diamond heist fits into the story, and why it should matter - other than delivering a gun to the girls, and allowing Clarke to drive a car through a plate-glass window. 

In short, it's like the German thriller Run Lola Run, only set in London and made by someone who doesn't actually know what they're doing.