Screwed review

I'd like to give a little round of applause to everyone involved in this film, or maybe a "good effort" gold star, because it really doesn't suck in reality as much as it did in my head. A British prison flick starring half the cast of This is England. "Woop di doo," I thought facetiously. "How do they come up with these ideas?" But in fact, a nice dose of originality is squeezed into Screwed by getting into the heads of the prison staff as opposed to the naughty boys behind bars.

Based on a true story, Screwed follows ex soldier Sam Norton (D'Arcy) as he attempts to adjust to normal life life after serving in Iraq and break back into the world of full time employment, no easy feat with no work experience or qualifications. Turns out HMP Romwell isn't too picky and he gets a job as a prison officer, where his rugged tough guy looks and mean right hook come in pretty handy, but wind up bringing on some nasty flashbacks. But as Sam gets closer to fellow screw Deano, he starts to replace these painful memories by making new ones on nights out at strip clubs, putting things up his nose that don't belong there. Boys will be boys.

If you've ever seen a prison flick, or in fact any gritty British movie, there won't be too many surprises in Screwed. Essentially there are lots drug dealing cons, played by a cast of scummy looking actors like Spider from Coronation Street (who'll never be anything but Emily Bishop's free thinking hippy nephew in my eyes), all trying to pull one over on a team of cheeky chappy guards. There's lots of that charming, witty banter we Brits are renowned for - "men can't multitask" ... "rubbish, I can watch porn and masturbate at the same time". Delightful! And it has its fair share of violence, of course, which is actually pretty difficult to watch in places, if only because of the realism. Lots of slashing. Oh, and there's a terribly unsexy sex scene, watch out for that.

All in all, this film won't be winning any BAFTAs but it'll make for a fun Sunday afternoon, and watching events unfold from the guards' point of view is a really nice, refreshing change from the norm. So as long as you're not expecting too much, go and see Screwed, it's a jolly good prison-y romp.

Screwed 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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