The Business (2005)
It's a Dyer Business
The geezer was so hard even his nightmares were scared of him - Frankie
You would think being a Brit that I would enjoy the cockney gangster movies which cropped up a few years back, the sort which included "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch". But to be honest I just don't get them, oh they are entertaining but they also seem rather flat, trading on the shock and humour of cockney characters effing and blinding a lot. "The Business" is one of those which I just don't really get or at least not being wowed by because whilst it's entertaining with its recreation of the 80s and expat gangsters operating in Malaga it ends up only being visually entertaining. The actual storyline, the rise and fall of cockney gangsters in Spain is quite dull and predictable with it being all about the effing and blinding of the characters as they go about their business.
Forced to go on the run Frankie (Danny Dyer - Human Traffic) leaves South London and heads to Malaga with a package to be delivered to Charlie, (Tamer Hassan - Unleashed) a former member of the Peckham four who are now living the high life in the Costa del Crime. Attracted by the charismatic Charlie, Frankie soon finds himself becoming his right hand man and along with other expat criminals running a drug trafficking operation. But not everything is good for Frankie as Charlie's business partner Sammy (Geoff Bell) takes an instant dislike to him and as they all get greedy they start taking a few too many risks.
Now to be honest "The Business" on paper sounds like my sort of movie, I pretty much love anything which takes us back to the 80s and I am not adverse to gangster movies. And to be honest for about the first 20 minutes "The Business" entertained as we watch Frankie ending up in Malaga and on the books of expat criminal Charlie and his partner Sammy. The whole recreation of the 80s and Frankie's introduction to the easy life in Spain is good fun and builds things up nicely. But get beyond this opening and things then end up going down hill.
It basically goes down hill because it becomes boring as we watch Frankie, Charlie and Sammy become rich off of their drug deals but expectedly things end up going wrong as greed takes over. Maybe if you haven't watched many gangster movies then the storyline will seem good but it ends up all so obvious as these Cockney wide boys end up sinking to the bottom of the barrel having lived life in the fast lane with sex & drugs becoming a pastime. And in a way it's a shame as the last 15 minutes of "The Business" delivers a decent ending with an edge which is lacking for so much of the movie.
But in a way it feels like the actual storyline isn't as important as the characters and the set pieces. It just feels like scenes such as when Frankie meets Charlie for the first time as he is getting a blow job behind the bar is what it ends up being all about, the laughs from being OTT. And at the same time it is the comical shock of all the effing and blinding which fuel every scene. Yes it's kind of amusing for about 10 minutes but beyond that it ends up being repetitive. And that is the thing about the middle section of "The Business" as the rise of Frankie, Charlie and Sammy ends up very repetitive going around in circles without really going anywhere.
Now to be honest I've never been a huge fan of Danny Dyer and if "The Business" had stopped after 75 minutes my opinion of him wouldn't have changed. But in the final 20 minutes Dyer as Frankie delivers not so much a stunning performance but one which is more than just a cocky cockney criminal. You end up strangely warming to this foul mouthed character having ridden the wave of success to the top and then plummeted to the bottom and you enjoy how he deals with it. Dyer is not the only one who impresses in those closing scenes and Tamer Hassan as Charlie also sheds the shackles of a cliche character to develop something far more entertaining. If only what had filled the main part of the movie hadn't been so cliche then "The Business" could have been more impressive and memorable.
What this all boils down to is that "The Business" whilst entertaining just ends up another one of the Brit flick gangster movies which traded on the humour and shock of foul mouthed cockney's getting away with murder. Whilst the recreation of the 80s is good and the final 20 minutes comes into its own the rest of the movie ends up being one repetitive cliche which may entertain those who are new to cockney gangster movies but will be a little dull for those who have seen their fare share of mob action.
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