Review: '100 Streets' is about 100 minutes too long

Posted Tuesday, March 7, 2017 at 4:14 PM Central

by John Couture

I have to admit that I was really looking forward to this film. It has a great cast and I'm a huge Idris Elba fan. While he has had memorable moments over the years, he is still looking for that breakout hit to truly put him on the map.

He has many good moments in 100 Streets, but sadly the writing lets him down and takes away from what could be a truly scathing dig on class and the politics it plays in our place in life. Some films are able to weave multiple arcs together seamlessly with ease such as Crash, while others jarringly ping pong back and forth.

100 Streets is a film that has plenty of potential and it sets out to tell a compelling tale, but ultimately it gets lost along the way. Idris Elba's retired Rugby character could just as easily be a professional basketball or football player in America, so the parallels are easy enough to follow, but the subject matter falls flat more often than not.

Gemma Arterton is an interesting actress that I haven't quite figured out yet. While she is serviceable in many films, I haven't ever truly been blown away by her and this film doesn't do much to move the needle for me in terms of her star potential. To be fair, though, I don't think it's all Gemma's fault. The writing is weak and pithy throughout and her character becomes nothing more than a caricature of every other woman who retaliates against her philandering husband.

The unsung hero of the film is Charlie Creed-Miles, who plays a cabbie that dispenses the film's moral and pragmatic touchstones throughout. I thought that he really came off as genuine and is a real service to an otherwise forgettable film.

All in all, this film had aspirations of being more than it ultimately turns out to be. There's nothing wrong with that per se, but I think it wastes the potential dynamic chemistry between Idris Elba and Gemma Arterton. This film is what it is and that's a very marginal direct-to-video title that could have been so much more.

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