Directed by: Emilis Velyvis
I think there’s two ways a reviewer could dissect ‘Redirected’. You can take the heavy handed approach, strap on some metaphorical brass knuckles and take some cheap shots. Poke poe-faced at the clichéd mockney gangster dialogue and the wafer thin characters. Or, and maybe this is because we are in the Festive Season, you could be generous in your praise and look beyond the obvious failings of this film and reluctantly admit ‘Redirected’ is fun, dumb and a clapped out thrill ride through the streets of Lithuania.
‘Redirected’ is about four mates, a group of friends who you might find in your latest blokey advert for Ladbrokes zooming around a Go-Kart track, or clinking glass bottles after guzzling down a few bottles of WKD blue. You have John, the organizer who ropes the gang into a robbery; he wears a silver dye job that is more Phillip Schofield than George Clooney. Then there’s the awkward comedy duo of the fat bloke Ben and the lanky wimpy geek Tim. The three pull in their friend Michael, a straight laced member of the Queen’s Guard.
The four hold up a poker game held at a strip bar called ‘The Big Tits’ (says a lot about the lad tone of the movie) featuring some notorious London gangsters. They grab a stash of several thousand pounds and the gold ring of a gangster called The Golden Pole played by Vinnie Jones. The four guys then attempt to fly to Malaysia but end up stopping in Lithuania due to a volcanic ash cloud which has polluted the skies about Europe.
As an aside, it’s worth reflecting that Vinnie Jones has had an amazingly successful acting career considering his limited range and ability. His first five films are respectable Hollywood projects, and though he has been in some terrible films since, by hook or by crook he’s had an acting career for the best part of sixteen years. That’s incredible, and deserving of some praise.
Lithuania in ‘Redirected’ is presented as a lawless country that seems like the kind of no man’s land you might find in a Judge Dredd comic. Everybody is corrupt, the Police, the priests, even the paramedics. The four guys get separated and shafted by every person they encounter. Then Vinnie and his mob turn up and try and track down the money and his ring.
The chase is quite rewarding, the gang find themselves in life threatening situations, and even by the end of the film, danger is still in the air. Home always feels a long way away. Director Emilis Velyvis should be applauded for his ability to pace the movie almost perfectly, keeping things moving somehow allows the critical eye to bypass the shitty dialogue which mostly consists of foul mouthed Brits shouting “fuck”, “cunt” and “bastard”.
Maybe it’s the unique blend of a Lithuanian and British cast, but ‘Redirected’ feels different to a lot of straight-to-DVD British gangster flicks. I’m taking the optimistic line and reckon ‘Redirected’ isn’t too bad, above average in the “Geezers need excitement” sense.