Adulthood (UK, 2008)

Noel Clarke: Bitten off more than he could chew?

Kidulthood (see June 24) was terrific; Adulthood? It’s an adage that sequels are never (rarely) better than the sequel; is it because all the good ideas have been used or because filmmakers feel they have to out-do the original so strain too hard? Whilst Clarke wrote and acted in the original, here he also directs. He is talented but maybe he’s overstretched himself. Adulthood seems to be straining to hard to be significant whilst the first film loaded 21st century London into a kitchen sink and planted it on celluloid.

That said, I found the reflective aspects of the film successful: both Lexi and Sam’s attempt to break away from their past. The ‘genre’ elements, especially the risible ‘Mexican’ standoff with a gun and baseball bat, didn’t mesh very well with the ‘philosophical’ aspects; though the climactic fight is well staged the idea that Sam’s brother could possibly kill Sam without knowing it was not convincing.

Maybe Clarke shouldn’t try and do ‘everything’; I thought

Menhaj Huda did a better job on the first film. That said, Clarke’s definitely a talent.

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