Reviews

Twin Town

3

Here we go again. With growing controversy about Twin Town's violence quota snapping at Kevin Allen's Doc Martens, Keith's brother has already had to listen to calls for the banning of his debut feature - predictably from the spittle-lipped moral majority. Just recently, MP David Alton announced that the film "sounds sordid, squalid and full of depravit", which is as far from being an accurate description of the film as Swansea is from Westminster (note the word "sounds"). Twin Town won't be everyone's cup of cha, but this black comedy - which highlights the absurd nature of revenge and the inevitable chaos that ensues - isn't here to paint pretty pictures.

The film has two things going for it. It has a largely unknown but talented cast (Rhys Ifans and Llyr Evans, who play the vaguely similar twins, are particularly engaging), and secondly, Allen and co-writer Paul Durden's riotous screenplay gleefully juxtaposes pub karaoke contests, male-voice choirs, inner-city joyriding and decapitated poodles - all with wit and skill.

Yes, the free-wheeling visuals are a nagging reminder of Danny Boyle's cult classic (Boyle and fellow Trainspotter Andrew Macdonald are executive producers), but such comparisons are a mite unfair: Twin Town has its gaze tightly focused on pitch-black Celtic comedy, neatly relocating its mayhem from the streets of Edinburgh to the coastal metropolis of Swansea. The flavour is Cymru through and through.

There are times when you feel that the film's determination to shock has little to do with storyline advancement, and the narrative often becomes episodic. But there are plenty of great moments to even the score. A very promising, if ragged, directorial debut.

Verdict:

An inventive, comic tale from the UK's other Celts, ever so slightly weakened by its loose narrative.

Film Details

  • 18
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: April 25th 1997

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