Andy Serkis: 5 Awesome Performances And 5 That Sucked
3. Hoodwink - Sugarhouse (2007)
Few things are more depressing than a formulaic British gangster film. Where once the genre produced the likes of Get Carter and Gangster No. 1 (featuring career-best work from Paul Bettany), nowadays it's nothing more than a collection of meat-headed cliches, supplying the same old levels of violence and nudity but without the substance to justify them. Serkis found himself in one such film when he made Sugarhouse, a thankfully little-seen and thoroughly derivative offering. Sugarhouse is an urban thriller based loosely on the stage play Collision. It follows the middle-class Tom (Steven Macintosh), who is down on his luck and feeling suicidal. He attempts to buy a gun from homeless crack addict D (Ashley Walters), who attempts to extort Tom for more money to pay off his debt to local gangster Hoodwink (Serkis). Upon discovering that the gun actually belongs to Hoodwink, Tom and D become embroiled in a cat-and-mouse chase that could be lethal for them both. There's nothing in Sugarhouse that you haven't seen a hundred times before, and while it lacks the pretentiousness of Guy Ritchie's output, it's still pretty insufferable to watch. Serkis is one of its biggest problems: he brings no subtlety to the part of Hoodwink, playing him as a ruthless, angry hooligan with no redeeming features and nothing interesting about him. It's all well and good having a villain who is enigmatic and mysterious, but Serkis treats the character like a blunt instrument, bashing us repeatedly over the head until we've lost all patience.
Freelance copywriter, film buff, community radio presenter. Former host of The Movie Hour podcast (http://www.lionheartradio.com/ and click 'Interviews'), currently presenting on Phonic FM in Exeter (http://www.phonic.fm/). Other loves include theatre, music and test cricket.