Payback Season review

Hot off the heels of his Bafta award win, Deacon leads in this story of a bad boy done good but dragged back into his bad ways by his old friends.  Made in the same style as Kidulthood and Adulthood, Payback Season focuses on life in the estates of East London.

Life is tough and you have to work hard to make anything of yourself.  Jerome (Deacon) is a premiership footballer.  He and his mother worked hard to get him out of the council estate to make his dream a reality.  The life he left behind was murky to say the least.  And although he has moved out of that neighbourhood and circle of friends, his mother and impressionable younger brother still live there.

Jerome's old crew, headed up by Baron (Ajala), are still heavily involved in the underground drug scene.  Baron assumes that Jerome can bankroll his dodgy business dealings as £10k or even £20k is just pocket change to him.  Jerome begrudgingly agrees starting a chain of payments that turns into blackmail, protection money for keeping his younger and rather naive brother "safe".  Events begin to turn really nasty ending in quite a dramatic confrontation.

Payback Season is no different to the other films of the same ilk, although it's the first film in which we have seen Deacon doing a full dramatic role.  And to give him credit, he isn't that bad.  In fact, I think he can act. My issue with him and films like this is that it limits the talent into these horrible stereotypes that badly mimics real life. I think if it had the same scary feeling that Eden Lake is so good at creating, it would have worked so much better.  The script was laughable and much of the acting by most of the cast was terrible too.  I do think its good for Deacon to get his vehicle to drive his acting career, but think he is a lot better than this.

Payback Season at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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