Revolver Entertainment // 2010 // 92 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 13th, 2011
The rise to power of the Essex Boys.
Who are the Essex Boys you might ask? Well, apparently, in the world of British crime, they're kind of a big deal. Bonded by Blood relays the tale of how these scumbags got together and kick-started a lucrative and violent drug trade in southern England.
And how is that story told? Through heavy usage of the F word and C word. I am not exaggerating when I say that Bonded by Blood might be the single most profane movie I have ever seen. It is not a conservative estimate that every three words is either the F-bomb or the C-nuke.
Much like Elizabeth Berkeley's nipples in Showgirls, the oversaturation of the vulgarity wears off and, to be honest, I found it distracting. Like the writers were trying too hard to make the story as gritty and edgy as possible. In fact, there are moments throughout the film where that push to shock backfired into parody, specifically a sequence with one of the guys driving around at night, getting serviced by a prostitute and crashing into a tree. Then when they both come to, she continues. Uh huh.
The plot is straightforward, but effective: the boys hook up in prison, get their crime on when they hit the outs and systematically accumulate power through threats, violence and basic criminal shenanigans. As is typically the case with these crime stores, their empires crumble under the weight of their own greed and distrust. Betrayal rears its head and the beatdowns are geared at one another.
It's not new and the heavy accents and dense, expletive-packed writing may make things tough to follow occasionally, but fans of hardboiled crime dramas inspired by true events should find decent value here.
The DVD: a fine-looking 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, 5.1 surround, cast and crew commentary, interviews, B-roll and behind-the-scenes and featurettes.
Not f -- -- -- Guilty, c -- -.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Revolver Entertainment
* 2.35:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Unrated