Starring: Danny Dyer, Tamer Hassan, Georgina Chapman, Geoff Bell
Running Time: 98 mins
During the 1980s, British criminals wisely fled to Spain, since an absence of extradition laws between the nations prevented arrest. The Business follows a group of hoodlums who seek ill-gotten fortune in the Costa del Sol with a GoodFellas vibe.
After killing his father in a crime of passion, Frank (Dyer) flees London to the sunny shores of Spain. Initially employed as a courier for ex-pat playboy crime-lord Charlie (Hassan), he quickly elevates to the position of being Charlie’s right-hand man. Frank's arrival is far from welcomed by Charlie's existing loose cannon sidekick Sammy (Bell), especially since his girlfriend Carly (Chapman) has more than a passing interest in the newcomer.
As long as Charlie's gang keep to the mayor's rules and only import marijuana, all will be hunky dory. Unfortunately, when they begin to dabble in cocaine, frowned upon by the otherwise accommodating mayor, the business is in jeopardy and the group members' relationships become frayed.
Thankfully, this is not simply another East End gangster flick of the Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels mould. Admittedly, there are still the staple “f**ks??? and “c**ts??? gluing almost every sentence together but the well-delivered script is very frequently refreshingly witty.
The fact that the movie is set in Spain helps the it to stand out from its peers visually if not in terms of plot or themes. Love himself has stated that much of the reason behind setting the film in Spain was to allow him to create a more interesting cinematic visual experience than other gangster films. He succeeds – it is certainly relatively stylish – although the change of location makes it seem more original than it actually is.
Visually and musically, The Business is heaped in Eighties nostalgia from the clothes to the cars to the music, the soundtrack including the likes of Blondie, David Bowie, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Duran Duran.
Performance-wise, Bell's portrayal of the unstable Sammy is a highlight, whilst both Hassan and Dyer are also very impressive and keep the audience’s interest throughout even though the way Charlie is so easily impressed with Frankie is a little dubious, as are some other of the characters' actions.
The Business is worth a look. There is nothing particularly new brought to the genre, but stylish visuals, some impressive acting, attention to detail of the period and constant humour make it an entertaining night out.