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24 September 2014

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Shooters (2002)
Director: Glenn Durfort, Colin Teague.
Adrian Dunbar, Louis Dempsey, Andrew Howard, Melanie Lynskey, Gerard Butler, Jason Hughes,
Emma Fielding, Matthew Rhys, Ioan Gruffudd.

95 minutes
25th January 2002
18 cert camera
Another "Lock Stock" rip-off. This time, the guilty parties are Andrew Howard and Louis Dempsey, a pair of actors who, having churned out a tale of dodgy geezers in to drugs and guns, had the audacity to cast themselves as its nominal heroes.
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The single redeeming feature is the impressive cast that directors Colin Teague and Glenn Dufort have assembled for their cut-price crime caper.

Though set in London, "Shooters" deserves some credit for assembling its collection of devious lowlifes from more far-flung parts of the UK and beyond. Thus we find Adrian Dunbar's smooth Irish kingpin negotiating a drug deal with Gerard Butler's psychotic Glaswegian supplier, with a little help from assorted Welsh scumbags (Ioan Gruffudd, Jason Hughes, Matthew Rhys).

Dunbar, meanwhile, has his eye on a henchman's wife - curiously played by Kiwi actress Melanie Lynskey, gamely grappling with an unlikely Cockney accent.

Caught up in all of this is recently released ex-con Gilly (Dempsey) and his unhinged pal J (Howard), who hope to get rich while keeping one step ahead of the cops (represented here by the demure Emma Fielding).

You will not be surprised to learn that it ends in an orgy of bloodshed, and a betrayal lifted straight from the "Reservoir Dogs" manual of predictable plot developments.

Even worse than the lack of originality, though, is the general cheapness of a film where most of the bullets are heard, not seen, and half the dialogue is inaudible. These shooters fire blanks - avoid.

"Shooters" opens in UK cinemas on Friday 25th January 2002.

Reviewed by Neil Smith , BBC Films

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