APPARENTLY, there was a moment late in the editing of Revolver when visions of another Swept Away-style disaster flashed before Guy Ritchie's eyes, and he realised that one of the surest ways to improve the quality of his new film was to leave the scene with Madonna on the cutting-room floor.
DONAL LYNCH, PADRAIC McKIERNAN
APPARENTLY, there was a moment late in the editing of Revolver when visions of another Swept Away-style disaster flashed before Guy Ritchie's eyes, and he realised that one of the surest ways to improve the quality of his new film was to leave the scene with Madonna on the cutting-room floor. It was a brave move, but sadly a lot more than jettisoning Madge needed to be done to make this film halfway watchable.
Returning to the type, but not the quality, of material that he made his name with, Ritchie brings us a gangster flick in which a conman, Jake Green (Jason Stratham) learns an invincible gambling formula whilst in solitary confinement. Unable to take the humiliation of losing, his rival (a haggard-looking Ray Liotta) decides to kill him and Jake has to seek protection from Zach (Vinnie Pastore) and Avi (Andre Benjamin of Outkast fame.)
If you've ever heard Ritchie interviewed, you'll know that he talks the most pretentious stream of waffle imaginable - and this script is very much his baby: a film which, in his words, is "designed to make you think" and which will probably give you a headache.
An unbearably gravelly voiceover (Stratham) constantly repeats pseudo-philosophical slogans like "the opponent distracts the victims by getting them consumed with their own consumption", or "there is no angel as destructive as the angel of their greed - greed is the snake that cannot be charmed".
The performances are atrocious - particularly from Andre Benjamin, who will surely relinquish his "coolest man in the world" mantle after this. Jason Stratham has but one expression and one unbearable tone of voice - and they're never the right ones. The plot twists, turns, doubles back on itself, until you really couldn't care less who did what and you just wish to God it would hurry up and end.
Revolver is a flapping, gobbling, squawking turkey - and this time there is no blaming Madonna.
SO LET'S start with a quick game of Guess the Context. Disturbing scenes involving the depiction of wild-eyedand flesh-hungry Dublin teenagers running amok through the city's suburbs? A Prime Time Investigates on binge drinking, you could be forgiven for thinking.
Maybe a reality TV show that revolves around the night of the Junior Cert results?
The answer, of course, is none of the above, just the primary backdrop for director Stephen Bradley's hip and happening Irish zombie horror flick, Boy Eats Girl.
Ambitiously targeted at a global market, this romantic zomedy - to use the director's term - charts the terrors unleashed on a Dublin suburb when an Irish mammy, played by Deirdre O'Kane, decides to dabble with the dark side. Not that you can really blame her. After bumping off her son Nathan (David Leon) in a tragic domestic accident, she decides to avail of a recently acquired book on voodoo in order to bring her beloved back to life. The resurrection ritual doesn't go quite to plan, with the result that, unbeknownst to himself, Nathan has just been enlisted in the ranks of the undead.
Needless to say, his zombification doesn't exactly do him any favours when it comes to scoring with the object of his schoolyard affections, Jessica (Samantha Mumba). Can love triumph over this type of adversity? And can the hunky Nathan prove it's still possible to bea heart-throb without havinga pulse?
Zombie films have always had a habit of leaving me slightly underwhelmed, but fans of the zom-com genre should find that Boy Eats Girl hits all the right spots. Personally, I would have preferred a little bit more "com" and a little less "zom", but the gore-tastic special effects are top-notch and the performances can't be faulted. Leon, together with Samantha Mumba as his kick-boxing love interest, manage to convey a convincing Romeo and Juliet vibe, while there are also a couple of decent comic cameos from Tadhg Murphy as Nathan's schoolmate Diggs and The Royle Family's Doreen Keogh as Mrs Brumble.
Boy Eats Girl deserves to score heavily with the domestic demographic that enjoyed last year's comedy Man About Dog, but I'll be surprised if its overseas box office is anything to write home about.