“It’s Die Hard… In an English suburb.”
Kelly (Scodelario) sneaks into her boyfriend’s bedroom, only to find herself stuck there, when a group of criminals invade the home, intending to use his father as part of a robbery. Before being captured, the boyfriend does manage to injure the gang’s leader, Shane (Scott), who is then laid out on the bed to recuperate, while the gang regroup and adjust their plans. Unfortunately, it’s the same bed under which Kelly – who was a promising gymnast, up until an unfortunate accident with a crossbow(!) – has hidden herself. With no apparent way out, can she save the rest of the family and escape her perilous situation?
An attempt to cross the ever-popular “Die Hard in a ____” and home invasion genres, the performances here deserve a significantly better script, than the largely sorry procession of coincidences and implausibilities we get here. Oh, look! There’s a crossbow in the attic! And, wouldn’t you know it, Kelly still carries around in her handbag, the bolt which ended her sporting aspirations! What are the odds against that? Some of the crooks’ behaviour also falls into the category of idiocy necessary to the plot as well; they seem strangely oblivious to their surrounding for career criminals, even when Kelly is literally hanging off the banisters above their head.
Counterbalancing these problematic aspects, both Scodelario and Scott deliver well-rounded performances – all the more impressive for the latter, since 90% of his screen time is spent lying on his back. Kelly is shown early on to be a strong-minded and independent girl, not reliant on anyone, least of all her boyfriend, who all but vanished from the movie after he leaves the bedroom to investigate a middle of the night noise. Assistance is provided by Callum, the psycho henchman – standard for both the genres – played by Skrein who appears to have gone on to greater things, starring in the recent reboot of The Transporter. The same goes for Scodelario, who is now the female lead in the Maze Runner series.
Notably not yet going on to Hollywood fame is writer Simon Lewis. You can increasingly see why that’s the case, the further this goes on, with Shane inexplicably switching sides and other plot points requiring so much suspension of disbelief, you could use it to build a small bridge. While the idea of interbreeding these two types of action-thriller is not a bad one, and the suburban setting adds a claustrophobic element, the storyline is in desperate need of several stiff rewrites, on its way to an ending that does deliver a satisfactory amount of heroiney goodness – albeit still with a deficiency on the logic front. You’ll have to go through more contortions than the gymastic lead, for your mind to swallow this one.
Dir: Thomas Daley
Star: Kaya Scodelario, Dougray Scott, Ed Skrein, Langley Kirkwood