Thursday, April 29, 2021

CONCRETE PLANS (2020) (Dark Sky Films DVD Review)


Label: Dark Sky Films
Region Code: 1
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 92 Minutes 
Audio: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo and 5.1 Surround with Optional English Subtitles 
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (2.39:1) 
Director: William Jewell
Cast: Goran Bogdan, Kevin Guthrie, Chris Reilly, Amber Rose Revah, Charley Palmer Rothwell, Steve Spiers, William Thomas, James Lance

Seemingly well-off jerk Simon (Kevin Guthrie, Dunkirk) hires a disparate crew of desperate construction workers to renovate his countryside property, it's an off-the-books job paid under the table. Nice guy crew boss Bob (Steve Spiers, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest) has assembled a small crew, perhaps to small for the scope of the project, that includes his shifty shit of a nephew Steve (Charlie Palmer Rothwell, Dunkirk),  a Ukrainian immigrant named Victor (Goran Bogdan, TV's Fargo), old-timer Dave (William Thomas, TV's Torchwood) and the hot-headed Jim (Chris Reily, Wrath of Man) to get the job done. 

Things start off tense from the get-go with Simon proving to be an inhospitable employer, sternly warning the workman to stay away from the main house on the property, and then housing them in a drafty barn with a leaky roof. On the other hand Simon's posh fiancĂ© Amy (Amber Rose Revah, Netflix's The Punisher) is quite a nice lady, and her looks have not gone unnoticed by the workmen, especially when she can be seen in various states of undress through windows of the main house, which gave me a distinct Straw Dogs vibe.  

The inhospitable simmer soon begins to turn to a boil when rightful payment for their services seems to keep getting delayed by Simon, which pits the Bob in a bad place with his employees as her tries to balance the feelings of his employer with the steadily growing dissatisfaction of his crew. It turns out that Simon's inherited wealth is experiencing some of tax-law complication, which he keeps from the crew, and to smooth things over he attempts to bond with the blokes over a game of poker, but it ends when Simon loses a hand and storms off angry.

After that it does not take long for tension between the cash-strapped employer and increasingly disgruntled employees to rise to a fever pitch, especially after the men inadvertently discover that the pompous shit-heel is planning to flee the country without paying his dead. When they angrily confront him the hotter-heads on the crew snap and bloody violence erupts... and let me just say that fucking with disgruntled construction workers is just a bad idea on it's face, all they do is handle heavy-duty equipment all day, and their pretty good with a hammer, you know? 

Concrete Plans (2020) is a solid violent thriller but it does not quite sticks the landing. Its a bit muddled with clichĂ© one dimensional characters, but I appreciated the set-up, the tension-filled build-up, the solid cast, and the explosion of violence and even the twisty finale. It's not a home run but a solid three-bagger thriller, and a heck of a debut film from director Will Jewell. 

Concrete Plans (2020) arrives on DVD from Dark Sky Films with an anamorphic widescreen presentation with Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1 with optional English subtitles. No extras on this one, just the movie.