As Dad Savage opens with a Tarantino-esque character monologue, backed by the stirring clatter and strum of The Jam's Going Underground, your cinematic senses might be alerted that something tantalisingly good is about to follow. Something the British film industry can be really proud of. Sadly, that sensation quickly fades as Betsan Morris Evans' debut feature reveals itself to be the latest in a long line of crime thriller clones that ultimately fail to deliver.
The hub of the story takes place in the cellar of a derelict country house after Dad Savage, in a fit of "you've nicked my money" rage, ploughs his truck straight into the building and through the floor. Trapped among the rubble are the luckless Vic and Bob; Savage's trusted employee, H (McKidd); and Bob's sister Chrissie (McCrory). We are left to watch as the truth behind the missing money and the death of Dad's son (Wood), are drip-fed through a constant stream of narrative-enhancing flashbacks, with the action cutting from the dusty confusion in the cellar back to the crime itself taking place.
But this is a tale without heroes, and the underlying problem with Evans' movie is that, because none of the characters have any redeeming qualities, you care little for them, or what's going on. It's a pity, for although the cast give their best (sadly Stewart is never as menacing as he thinks he is), their characters are never allowed to venture beyond two-dimensional caricatures. The whodunnit (or whonickedit) element is kept alive for the best part of the picture, but it's not enough to keep your interest from wandering to the back of the seat, the bloke's head in front of you, the state of your finger- nails, what you're going to have for dinner, or, of course, how you're going to finish your movie review...
Brit-indie flick Dad Savage founders as an all too familiar tale played out through flashbacks and rural accents. But what other movie could offer you the indelible image of Patrick Stewart line-dancing in full County&Western regalia?