King of Crime is a low-budget British thriller directed by Matt Gambell, focusing on the violent life of a cyber-criminal kingpin. Mark Wingett plays Marcus King, the crime boss who’s built his empire 21st-century digital crime. He recruits Oxbridge graduates for his underlings. Rachel Bright (Eastenders) steals focus with a solid performance as Jessica Slade, a younger woman drawn into the web of criminal activity against her will, while Buffy’s Nicholas Brendan has an enjoyable cameo as a government operative. From the very first scene, King of Crime has its foot on the pedal, the plot careening from twist to twist with such explosiveness that the story thread can be hard to follow. Adding to sense of narrative overload is a fractured, multi-strand story that takes a while to reveal where the plot’s centre really sits. This excessiveness, a sense of melodrama that indulges the gratuitous extremes of the thriller genre, doesn’t always work to the movie’s favour; subjects like Islamic terrorism and rape are not handled at all sensitively. This in itself may be enough to deter some viewers. But King of Crime works best when it turns down the volume, and a subdued scene featuring Bright simply having a conversation is maybe the most affecting moment. Given the film’s small budget, the technical ambition is remarkable. There are explosions, executions, and house fires. Tom Anderson was the Director of Photography, and he seems to have a good eye for shot composition, despite a slightly unadventurous digital colour palette. In making King of Crime, Gambell – and screenwriter Linda Dunscombe – have sought to put a contemporary technological spin on the classic crime genre. The end result is a wilfully transgressive, sometimes disorienting thriller that’s bolstered by a strong turn by Rachel Bright. King of Crime will be out in select cinemas from 2nd November and out on Home Ent and Digital release early next year. For more information go to: https://kingofcrimemovie.
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