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Fixed review – low-budget gangster Britflick lands few punches | Movies


“They stabbed me and locked me in a broom cupboard. It’s not looking good mate.” If someone slipped Guy Ritchie a monkey or two to direct a low-budget gangster Britflick it might look a bit like this feature debut from Jez Alsop. It opens at a bare-knuckle boxing match in Birmingham, lairy geezers watching as two fighters pound each other’s faces into steak tartare. Just before the knockout punch, a shifty looking man slips out a side door. This is bookie Daz (Nicholas Clarke), who has fixed three fights by passing professional boxers off as amateurs. Now he’s been rumbled.

For the rest of the film, we’re mostly confined in the broom cupboard with Daz, waiting for a gangland boss to show up. The camera keeps close to his face, cranking up the claustrophobia. Daz is a man in lockdown, but he’s not alone. He manages to get his smashed phone working and is constantly on the blower. First up is a call to his girlfriend at the airport. Tonight is the night they’re meant to be flying off to Spain to start a new life (that old crime-world chestnut). Mostly, the people he phones don’t want to know: “Piss off, Daz!”

Clarke’s performance draws you in up to a point (some of the acting elsewhere is pretty ropey). He plays Daz as a bit of a loser, someone who’s got by on cheeky-chap banter. Now his luck has run out and he’s desperate. The script turns the screws with workmanlike efficiency until the arrival of a sob story intended to make you feel sorry for Daz and it all gets a bit exasperating. The film is never that believable either: set in gangster-movie-world where mockney geezers with necks the size of tree trunks in black leather jackets call each other “muppets”.

Fixed is released on 22 November on digital platforms.

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