(15) 84min (High Fliers DVD rental)
We love, love, love filmmakers who sod the restrictions imposed by low budgets by using every opportunity they can lay their hands on, including mates’ mates who happen to be famous actors. That’s what circus performer-turned-actor-turned director Sean Stanek did to assemble a cast that includes Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Patrick Bergin, Gabriel Byrne (admittedly for limited screen time) and, ahem, Vinnie Jones and Patsy Kensit. The film’s writer Mick Rossie plays a small-time gangster who gets stitched up after a robbery goes wrong, and, after eight years inside, wants payback. What follows is a pretty compelling yarn that goes back and forth between London and Los Angeles, but the whole thing’s badly let down by a clunky screenplay, some wannabe Tarantino time-shifting and some seriously ropey acting. High praise, however, must go to the excellent Andy Nyman, who plays a nasty, drugged up little toerag. Here’s hoping we see more of him in the future. Minimal extras.