As part of a ‘rewatch’ series that I am going through, I decided to revisit a film I hadnt seen for a few years. The Crew, Directed by Adrian Vitoria ‘Age of Heroes’ So i ventured into my DVD ‘vault’ and popped the disc into my player and revisted 2008’s The Crew.
Set in Liverpool, The Crew centres about the Brennan family who are a well feared and respected crime family who on the surface might seem to have it all, but we soon learn that Ged Brennan (played by Scot Williams) is a little concerned with some of the stability of the family business side of things. It doesn’t help that his brother Ratter (played by Kenny Doughty) seems to be trying to get some side deals going along with his partner in crime Paul (played by Phillip Olivier) which then see things spiral out of control for the family and those surrounding them
I first saw The Crew around 2013, not long after I had seen the David LG Hughes directed film Hard Boiled Sweets which featured Scot Williams in the cast (and its a fantastic film too, by the way) and so I set off catching up on some of the other films that Scot had appeared in. I had already seen him in the Iain Softley film Backbeat several years before and in the TV show Liverpool 1 and along with Hard Boiled Sweets, I knew that Scot was an acting talent so went looking through some of his previous work and that’s when i found The Crew. Released in 2009, The Crew on the surface (and by that I mean the super basic premise and the DVD artwork) might seem like yet another British crime caper to which there were tons of them around at this time, still following the wave of films like Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and Snatch, but The Crew is a gem of a film. Yes its a film about criminal gangs trying to pull of ‘scores’, Yes there are gangs, and guns, and some larger then life wanna be crime lords, but The Crew is beyond that. The film scores high for me for several reasons. One of those is the wonderful cast that has been brought together. Scot Williams (Backbeat, Hillsborough), Rory McCann (the future ‘Hound’ in HBO’s Game of Thrones), Raza Jaffrey (TVs Spooks), Neil Bell (Dead Mans Shoes), Francis Magee (Layer Cake), Philip Olivier (Channel 4,s Brookside) and Stephen Graham (This is England, The Irishman)
When you take a cast like that (and that list is just a short list of some of them) and then add a great script based on the book Outlaws by Kevin Sampson, you end up with a brutal (when it needs to be), funny and yet also serious crime drama thriller that not only will really entertain you for the 2 hour run time but will leave you wanting more from these characters and this world they live in. The film balances the really funny moments perfectly against other scenes that will leave you wincing at the violence set out before your eyes, but also moments later or before will have you laughing out loud again. Often that’s not an easy tightrope to walk, but The Crew does it without missing a beat.
As id mentioned earlier the film is filled with great actors but this is definitely a Scot Williams starring role and with the many films I’ve now seen Scot in over the years. I definitely think that The Crew might be my favourite film of his. Definitely I think that The Crew and also Hard Boiled Sweets would be the two films Id recommend to those who wanted to have a mini Scot Williams festival. if you’ve not see The Crew, Definitely check it out. Im hoping that at some point there is a follow up to this film as there is still plenty of this world to explore and I for one would be down to watch these characters revisit the screen. But for now, from time to time I will revisit this film.