Review of "Breakdown (2016) (DVD)"

published 11/08/2017 | sellerleygirl
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"A decent British action/drama - so what's it all about Alfie?"

Breakdown (2016) (DVD)

Breakdown (2016) (DVD)

-•- Breakdown-•-

-• Film Only Review -•-

With the normal summer rubbish of sport, reruns and boring documentaries on offer, there have not been many nights when we haven’t tuned to Sky Cinema for a film to watch. Some of these have been good – some not so good.
My husband has been in control of downloading the films, and his choices aren’t always that good!! We watched ‘Breakdown’ after switching off another of his choices ‘Abattoir’ – which we couldn’t watch for more than 20 minutes; we did watch ‘Breakdown’ all the way through – and this is my review on that film.

-•- Tagline-•-

They all have to die.

-•- Genre-•-

• Drama
• Thriller
-• Film-•-

‘Breakdown’ – not to be confused with the 1997 Kurt Russell film of the same name, is a 2016 straight to DVD British thriller film. It is a debut film by the writer and director Jonnie Malachi.

Film Details

Directed by Jonnie Malachi
Produced by Luke Fairbrass
Written by Jonnie Malachi
Music by Phil Mountford
Cinematography James Friend
Release date 15 January 2016
DVD release 18 January 2016
Classification 15
Running time 110 minutes
Country United Kingdom
Language English
-• The Trailer •-

-• -The Story -•-

“I’m ’avin visions. Bad f***ing visions!”

Alfie Jennings (played by Craig Fairbass) is an ex-army professional hitman, he is also a loving father and faithful husband. Alfie though, has begun to suffer from horrific visions of the men he has killed, the attacks are getting worse and beginning to affect his work and family life.
As a member of Homefront – a professional assassination organisation – Alfie has to answer to the leader - the elderly, but psychopathic, Albert Chapman (played by James Cosmo).
At the same time, he has to deal with his beloved daughter turning 16 and growing up, just a little too quickly. Alfie and his daughter Maya (Amanda Wass) have a very close relationship, and Alfie is trying his best to bring her up to look after herself if she ever has to.

When he gets a job to torture and kill gangster Iraz Kartal (played by Tamer Hassan) Alfie finds it all a little too much when Iraz mentions his family. Watching Alfie’s breakdown, Albert begins to doubt Alfie’s use to the organisation.

How will this affect Alfie, but more importantly, how will it affect his wife Catherine (played by Olivia Grant) and Maya.

-• -The Main Cast -•-

Craig Fairbrass as Alfie Jennings
James Cosmo as Albert Chapman
Emmett Scanlan as Connor Moran
Mem Ferda as Hakan Abaci
Tamer Hassan as Iraz Kartal
Bruce Payne as Peter Grainger
Olivia Grant as Catherine Jennings
Rab Affleck as Ronnie Anderson
David Bark-Jones as Benedict Morgan-Wells
Nick Cornwall as Philip Boden
Brian Nickels as Moses
Amanda Wass as Maya Jennings
Richard Cunningham as Percy Johnson
Rodrig Andrisan as Josef
Bethan Wright as Sinead
-• -My Opinion -•-

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again; but my choice of films must be DREADFUL! Reading the reviews for this film it is hard to find one above 1 star and they are all frightful – saying what a load of c**p this film is!
Sorry, but I quite enjoyed it!!

So, I must have no cinematic taste at all I guess. I didn’t know what to expect from this film, as I said earlier my husband chose and downloaded it, but he’d have had no idea what he was downloading anyway – he never reads the descriptions (he downloaded Naked Attraction the other week thinking it was a film, it was two episodes of the Channel 4 game show – like a naked Blind Date -and we had willies and boobies bobbing about all over our T.V screen!!)

I had presumed it was going to be an American film, so I was very pleased to see in the opening moments Craig Fairbrass driving along British streets and then hearing British accents – again as I’ve said many times before, I much prefer watching British films.

I have to say the picture on Sky Cinema (and also on the DVD cover) is probably rather misleading; it rather implies this is going to be a very high-octave film with lots of explosions, SWAT teams etc. – and it is not. There is plenty of action, a little too much blood and gore for me (I am a bit of a softie) but mainly the tension is in the storyline.
This is obviously a low budget indie film, but it is actually very watchable (well there was one part I found hard to watch, but that’s just me and the blood thing!)
Maybe all those critics who slated this film were American and just didn’t get the British take on an action/thriller, but I thought that it was a good film, with an excellent storyline, some great acting and some credible characters -OK there were a few problems, but overall, I thought it was really good.

So, the problems.
Firstly, some of the dialogue was hard to hear – I had to keep turning the volume up then quickly turn it down again; this was mainly with the character of Connor (played by Emmett Scanlan), he seemed to whisper throughout, and with his Irish accent it was often very hard to hear what he said.
Then I thought that some of the violence and gore was a little gratuitous, I did have to avert my eyes at the torture scene.
Also, I wanted to know more about the 'Homefront’, organisation, it is sort of just dropped in the conversation, I felt that it needed explaining a little; more to the viewer.
I also thought that the ending did seem to just fizzle out a little, just a little too predictable.
However, having said this and after making myself sound like one of the critics who slated it, I thought that there were a lot of good things about this film.

So, why do I rate it as good?

For a start, there was the acting especially from the star Craig Fairbrass and the ‘baddie’, James Cosmo.
Craig Fairbrass gave an indisputably solid, no nonsense performance as the professional hitman, and was perfect in the lead role of Alfie Jennings. Albert Chapman, played as the loving grandfather/great uncle like character by James Cosmo, is chillingly good. He makes a very inconspicuous yet intimidating villain – very much like a Bond villain in some ways.
Chapman and his tough guy, lackey Ronnie Anderson (played wonderfully by Rab Affleck) could have made a great film on their own – especially with their penchant for taxidermy!!

I liked the fact that this was more heavily a drama film than an action film, and that the character of Alfie rather breaks the mould of the cliched ex-military hitman; he is shown as a very strong and loving family man, (just one who kills for a living) who is desperate to leave the sordid world that is paying him so well and letting him and his family live such a privileged lifestyle.

I also liked the relationship between Alfie and his daughter Maya who was just turning 16 (played by a very credible Amanda Wass). The ferocious killing machine was a completely different person when he had to deal with his daughter’s coming of age, and there was a nice chemistry between the couple.

So overall, I found ‘Breakdown’ to be an absorbing and entertaining British film, and far, far better than the critics would have us believe.
-• Ratings-•-

• IMDb 5.2/10 from 570 reviews
• Rotten Tomatoes:11% from 9 reviews

-•- Critics -•-

• Radio Times: "It's not the most original of premises, but Fairbrass proves a rugged presence and Cosmo is a terrifying villain."

• Total Film: "A sadistic, shallow little revenger who’s only saving grace is a handful of half-decent performances."

• The Times: "Nutty, overblown, occasionally nasty and ultimately tedious."

• Daily Express: "The struggle unfolds in a predictable and nasty way in a film that is technically polished but way too long and tiresome."

• Th Guardian: "This embarrassing slice of British nonsense, featuring the assassination of nonces and drug dealers, is rescued only by a moment of climactic comedy"
-• - How to View - •-

As of 12/08/17, ‘Breakdown ‘can be purchased from Amazon from £5.12 new and £4.02 used or buy from Amazon Instant Video -£6.99 or rent form £2.49.
Some DVDs on Amazon are available for free delivery within the UK and are if you have a Prime account, if neither of these apply add £1.26 for postage
Amazon are currently offering £1.00 credit to spend on movies or TV on Amazon Video when you purchase a DVD or Blu-ray offered by A maximum of 1 credit per customer applies.
Offer ends at 23:59 GMT on Wednesday, December 20, 2017
It is also available free to subscribers on Netflix and Sky Cinema.

-•- In Conclusion - •-

I accept that this is never going to be an Oscar nominated film, it does have a few problems but I would still recommend that you watch it, and judge for yourself.
If I could I would give the film 3 ½ stars but as I can’t I’ll give it 3; may seem low for a film I said I enjoyed but there are a couple of issues as I highlighted earlier – but it is still a decent film and I have watched a lot worse that have been given glowing reviews.

If you enjoy a British film, if you enjoy and action/drama and if you can stand some blood and torturing, then I do recommend it.

The film photos are taken from Google plus photo of downloading from Sky
Thanks for reading I do hope that this review has been of some help!
© Sellerleygirl August 2017

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Comments on this review

  • euphie published 16/08/2017
    e :o)
  • kiss_me2070 published 14/08/2017
    Great review but out of E's as playing catch up.
  • danielclark691 published 14/08/2017
    very good
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Product Information : Breakdown (2016) (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Actor(s): Craig Fairbrass, Emmett Scanlan, James Cosmo, Mem Ferda, Tamer Hassan

Director(s): Jonnie Malachi

DVD Region: DVD

Video Category: Feature Film

Classification: 15 years and over

Production Year: 2016

EAN: 5060238031837


Listed on Ciao since: 10/08/2017