Netflix UK film review: Plastic
Miami location shoot7
Ruby | On 12, Sep 2014
Director: Julian Gilbey
Cast: Ed Speelers, Will Poulter, Alfie Allen, Emma Rigby, Sebastian de Souza
Watch online in the UK: Netflix UK / TalkTalk TV / iTunes / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Google Play / Rakuten TV
A group of students spend their days in the classroom at university and their nights as credit card fraudsters – with a penchant for extortion and blackmail. Sam (Speelers) is the brains behind the outfit, helped by his trusty sidekick Fordy (Poulter), who sells hooky gear out of their Halls of Residence to fellow students. Things go smoothly, until Yatesey (Allen), a wannabe top dog, and petrolhead Rafa (de Souza) step up the risk factor by blackmailing a wealthy accountant with a fondness for ladies of the night.
The following day, the accountant’s client – a German gangster named Marcel (Thomas Kretschmann) – decides to pay the boys a visit, making it clear they must repay the stolen cash, plus a large penalty. It just so happens that Sam likes Frankie (Rigby), a girl in his class, who has a job at a credit card company. Sadly, Frankie’s father is in a hospice that the family can no longer afford. And so Sam decides to recruit her and somehow find and exploit her motivation for extra cash. Another happy coincidence. Lucky Sam.
The youths spend the rest of Plastic’s runtime jetting off to Miami and stalking potentially wealthy individuals (victims) just waiting to be scammed. Rather than let the audience discover the plot, though, the characters spell out every step of this predictable story. The dialogue is cliched and laboured, and some shots look more like an over-lit photo shoot rather than a film, which does nothing to bring us into the story.
Will Poulter (We’re the Millers, Wild Bill) is completely wasted in his minimal role as Fordy, but Alfie Allen’s (Atonement, Game of Thrones) Yatesey is a nasty piece of work, who thankfully brings some much needed conflict to the group. But if you are looking for strong female characters, this film will only disappoint. Most of the women are naked, half-naked or need rescuing like precious kittens – Plastic is a full-on lads’ film.
Supposedly, the movie is based on a true story, which makes it even harder to root for these types; they are unlikeable and greedy, with a sense of entitlement regardless of the consequences of their actions. The end result is like a soft-serve ice cream covered in hundreds and thousands. It doesn’t look real but, like a shiny thing to a magpie, it catches one’s eye. Sadly, after a short amount of time, it begins to melt, forcing you to eat the rest quickly – without satisfaction – until it’s finally gone.
Plastic is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.