VILLAIN review by Patrick Hendrickson – Craig Fairbrass stars in this smart crime drama

VILLAIN review by Patrick Hendrickson – Craig Fairbrass stars in this smart crime drama

VILLAIN tells the story of Eddie Franks (Craig Fairbrass) an ex-con fresh out of prison who attempts to reintegrate into his old life. This includes moving in with his brother Sean (George Russo) and starting to work at the family bar. At the same time, Eddie attempts to reconnect with his estranged daughter Chloe (Izuka Hoyle), who wants nothing to do with him due to him having abandoned her and her mother.

Having just been released from prison remains on Eddie’s mind in the early parts of the story, as he does his best to maintain an honest life whilst also attempting to tie up loose ends from his old life. However, Sean’s drug problem and financial mismanagement, and general stupidity, lands Eddie into serious trouble with old associates from his criminal past. The Franks brothers end up owning $100,000 to some very dangerous men and do not have a prayer of being able to make that kind of money in such a short time.

This story is a familiar one and it hits all the usual notes that one would expect from a tale like this. Thankfully, things do not get completely out of hand. There are no over-the-top heists or anything to that nature. This is a point in the production’s favor as that would have taken a very grounded story and made it into a laughably cliche one.

There are a few trippy scenes laden throughout the production, usually either dream sequences or wild nights in the Franks’ family bar. These are not bad sequences and there are some fairly mind-bending visuals. They contribute to a general atmosphere that is almost ethereal in nature. This complements a much darker tone set by several scenes of brutal violence sprinkled into the mix.

The driving relationship of the plot is the deteriorating brotherhood of Eddie and Sean. Things start off well-enough but Eddie quickly loses all patience with his brother due to the highly dangerous situation that Sean has placed them in. Fairbrass and Russo have some great chemistry and they work well together. Fairbrass’ intensity and gravitas contrasts greatly with Sean’s desperation.

VILLAIN paints a tragic picture of a man who has done wrong in his life and who genuinely wants to make amends on all fronts. This includes family, business, and his own personal demons. However, the world around him has left him behind and gotten far out of his control. Eddie says it himself in a poignant quote, “I’ve tried, but the world won’t let me.” VILLAIN gets a 5/5.

VILLAIN is available On Demand and Digital on May 22, 2020

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