Not content with switching up his musical style between albums, Plan B has decided to write and direct this movie too. Now, we know what happens when rapper try to enter the movie industry (hint: it's generally awful), but hey, this isn't written, directed by and starring Ben Drew, so perhaps we're going to be okay.
Ill Manors follows the story of a few unfortunate Londoners. You have your drug dealers, your drug users, your prostitutes and your naive young gang members. All of their stories interweave as they deal with real life problems like lost mobile phones, abandoned babies, being forced to shoot people in the face, and being shot in the face. While it's an ensemble cast, there's an obvious frontman in the form of Aaron, played by Riz Ahmed. He seems to be the most level headed guy in this movie. Not that that's saying much, but he provides a bit of morality during the dark and murky things that the other characters do.
This is actually quite a well made movie. I was a bit skeptical when I heard Plan B was behind it, but it's actually nicely filmed. Even though it's mostly swears and threats to kill people, the dialogue has a certain improvisational quality that gives the whole production a more natural feel. There are also some pretty well written raps by Plan B inserted upon the introduction to each character, giving them a little backstory. It still takes a while for the plot to get going, but once it did I was drawn in. Ill Manors is just a well written, well polished production overall.
That's not to say it's not completely depressing. The stuff that happens in Ill Manors is pretty damn dark, so if you're into your nitty gritty London gangster movies, you'll feel right at home. It's a messed up, but very good, film.
My rating: 4/5