ADULTHOOD (18) ** DIRECTED BY: NOEL CLARKE STARRING: NOEL CLARK, SCARLETT ALICE JOHNSON, ADAM DEACON
LIKELY to fuel, reflect and benefit from the current hysteria surrounding Britain's knife culture, this sequel to 2006's Kidulthood sees writer/star Noel Clarke graduating to directing duties with another ripped-from-the-headlines story about West London's patois-spewing, law-bothering youth.
Set six years on from the day-from-hell depicted first time out, the original's ASBO-flaunting kids are now in that tricky, can-be-tried-as-adult phase of their lives, something that has convinced some of them to turn their backs on their nihilistic ways and sucked others deeper into the mire.
Determined to walk away from all of it – if he can – is Sam (Clarke), who has had his nave bad-man fronting swagger thoroughly kicked out of him during a prison stretch for manslaughter. Unfortunately, his plans for a quiet life are ruined by the news that someone has put a hit out on him on his first day of freedom.
With an incident-packed 24-hour-timeframe, Clarke injects proceedings with a suitably raw energy and draws out a couple of decent performances from his cast, not least himself. But as with Kidulthood, once you cut through the street speak incomprehensible to-anyone over 22 , it's still clich-ridden, histrionic and equally guilty of both glorifying the urban realities it is supposedly reflecting and wagging a disapproving finger at them.