Archive for the DVD Category

Dyer Straits

Posted in DVD, Film on February 10, 2010 by Tim Lee

[DVD] Malice In Wonderland

This week Bilge Pump was invited to its very first movie première. Unfortunately this invitation came via LoveFilm and was only for the DVD première (such a thing exists) of Danny Dyer’s latest emission. The theatrical première was only on Friday, but those film industry fucks correctly predicted that after seeing it everyone would want to rush down to HMV in their Fila tracksuits to get their hands on their own copy soon as.

A gangland retelling of the Lewis Carroll tale, it’s almost as inessential as Tim Burton’s forthcoming, no doubt tedious Depposition. This time it’s Lost bint Maggie Grace playing the eponymous (M)Alice, who we see being chased by hired goons through the streets of London, before being knocked down by punctuality-obsessed cabbie Whitey (Dyer). Probably wishing she’d died on impact rather than having to endure the next 79 minutes, Alice is bundled into the cab and her descent into britflick hell can begin.

“Fackin’ Yank, eh? Los fackin’ Angeles this is not”, observes Dyer, Americans clearly being a rare sight in London. “Whatchoo want, a fackin’ Oscar?” he somewhat optimistically enquires before skilfully adding his own cockernee twist to the tale. “‘Ere, knock one of these (pills) down your rabbit ‘ole. Make you sharp as shit.”

For some reason or other Whitey has to get to Great Yarmouth Pleasure Beach to pick up a present for gangland kingpin Harry Hunt (TV’s Inspector Lynley). He likes the music of The Pet Shop Boys, George Michael and Liberace. Because he’s gay! But while Dyer is arguing with some dwarfs on a passing motorboat Alice is accosted by rival stereotype and carny Super Hans (playing Super Hans). They escape his clutches, but only long enough for Dyer to launch into a kebab-based monologue, which will surely one day be placed alongside Jason Statham’s Chicken Kiev monologue from The Transporter 3 in the pantheon of great food-based dialogue:

Imperial: stuffed wiv’ chicken, shish, doner, some ovver dead ‘fing. Only nine thousand points on weight watchers. ‘Alf a dead goat in there.

Now being guided by the spectral presence of a knock-off version of DJ Super Soul from Vanishing Point (Paul Truman from Eastenders), Alice is then abandoned at a bus stop and her phone is “nip/tucked.” Just when you think things can’t get any worse she’s abducted by Paul Kaye doing his Jamaican accent. During the interminable course of events it turns out she’s the daughter of an American billionaire, and there’s a $10m reward for her return. Suddenly everyone wants a piece of her, even the madam at the Spoonani – a greasy spoon café/brothel. Yep, just like Jack Donaghy, the writers started with the puns and then worked their way back.

Again in the clutches of Super Hans, who thinks Alice and the $10m bounty would make the ideal gift for Harry, she finds herself at a gay club talking to the ginge out of the Orange ads. Meanwhile, Whitey is on his way with his rival gift: a really big cake with a Thai ladyboy inside it. Because he’s gay! Or “a bachelor of the arse” as one of the bouncers puts it. Homophobic wordplay. The non-too thrilling conclusion sees Super Hans get shot and then Alice travelling back in time to meet her real mother, aided by DJ Super Soul, who it seems has magic powers of some kind. Sweet as.

As predicted, the fackin’ media have cunted the life out of this, and you really can’t blame them. It’s even moodier than I could have possibly imagined. When Dyer is the best thing in a film you know you’ve got problems, and it’s somewhat telling that even he couldn’t be arsed to take part in the making of featurette. Instead it’s left to Maggie Grace to attest to the director’s “great eye for detail” – cut to car number plate that reads ‘LET5 FUK.”

Just as Alice finds herself in a parallel universe, I like to imagine that out there somewhere is another world, where Dyer has been taken under the wing of Michael Winterbottom, rather than Nick Love. A world in which he can use his gifts for good, instead of Dyerrhea like this. As an argument against Arts Council funding, this is another depressing nail being hammered into the coffin by the limp dick that is the British film industry.

Read the abridged version of Dyer’s biography here