Walters, Steven Mackintosh, Andy Serkis
If you're down for a British gangster flick that packs the
punch of Snatch or Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels,
Sugarhouse isn't for you. It has a lean plot, a slow
burn, and a skeleton crew of actors.
But what it lacks in pacing, it makes up for in acting,
tension, and twists.
Sugarhouse tells the story of a middle-class Brit on a mission
to make a mysterious purchase from D, a paranoid London
crackhead. But as the deal moves forward, an inked-up local
coke dealer winds up in the mix. What follows is a
cat-and-mouse game with violent repercussions.
What's great about Sugarhouse is that it always maintains its
gritty feel, even when the film plods along. There's quality
cinematography, and the cast is on-point. Andy Serkis
did such a convincing job as the thugged-out coke slinger
Hoodwinked that I didn't immediately realize this was Smeagol
AKA Gollum from Lord of the Rings (yeah yeah, Hip Hop heads
watch LOTR too).
If you're not already up on
Ashley Walters, better known as rapper Asher D from the So
Solid Crew, start paying attention. Already having
appeared in a few urban flicks, Walters gives an eerily
accurate performance as D, the scheming crackhead. Asher
D holds it down not only in his portrayal of a basehead, but
as a man tortured by personal demons.
One of the most surprising aspects of this film was that as it
progresses, the characters gain much more depth. By the
film's conclusion, revelations are made that offer a different
perspective on the major characters involved.
If I had a beef about
Sugarhouse, it was that the film tends to drag on.
There's entirely too much dialogue, and the movie tends to
lurch along with only a few brief moments of violence.
Put better, this could have worked out just as well as a
one-hour crime drama on cable TV.
Overall, Sugarhouse is worth a rent if you dig gritty crime
flicks. While it lacks the spark, the witty dialogue and
the action of a Guy Ritchie flick, it's still enjoyable.
Definitely add this one to your Netflix queue tonight.