Shank - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Shank Reviews

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½ March 30, 2014
Shank (Simon Pearce, 2009)

I stumbled upon Shank while I was looking for a copy of Shanks, the infamous 1974 William Castle film starring Marcel Marceau. (Which I did eventually find, viz. my review on 2Mar2013.) This one looked interesting, so I threw it on my Netflix queue, where it joined almost four hundred other titles, and I promptly forgot about it. Fast-forward a year or more and, for various reasons, I wound up stuck in the hospital. It was the first time I'd been overnight in a hospital where I was the patient in over thirty years. Things have changed. They had to clear my friggin' laptop with the electrical department, for pete's sake. So that first night, stuck with a godawful roommate who spent the entire insufferable eighteen hours I was stuck in a room with him complaining a mile a minute to anyone who would listen (I kid you not, he did not sleep), the only way I had to watch anything other than broadcast TV, which I swore off a couple of years ago, was on a phone. And ESPN3 wasn't showing any cricket that night, so I popped open the Netflix queue, spun the scrollbar, and then stabbed at the moving queue to pick something as close to at random as I could. And thus, as a result, I spent my first night in the hospital watching Shank and Genetic Chile [below]. (The next day, I got my laptop back, and I'll tell you, I have never been so happy to see a fifteen-inch screen in my life.) None of which has more than the vaguest thing to do with Shank, other than that I was watching it on a painfully small screen and thus cannot make my usual comments about such things as cinematography, camera placement, and the like. Probably for the best, since that's the day I was introduced to dilaudid, which became my best friend for the next three weeks. How fuzzy was I? I'd actually written down the wrong film (I had Mo Ali's 2010 thriller in this spot instead of Simon Pearce's gay romance; I have never seen the former). Thankfully, I came to my senses, because by all accounts that movie is a dog's dinner. This one, despite a slow and confusing start and maybe a bit too much manufacture drama leading up to the big climax, is pretty good.

Plot: Cal (Release's Wayne Virgo) is a gang member who is secretly gay; when he's not running with his buddies and concealing his sexuality from them, he's having a dalliance with an older chap (Judas Ghost's Garry Summers) he met over the Internet. All is well until Cal steps in to stop the boys beating Olivier (Marc Laurent in his only screen appearance to date), a bookish, openly gay exchange student. The two form a friendship that is threatening to become something more-something that could destroy both sides of Cal's fragile existence.

If the plot is somewhat stock (and all of the outcomes of these threads predictable), it helps that Pearce handles his characters with sensitivity and never allows them to become stereotypes (at least, not too much). Writer Darren Flaxstone, turning in his first script, does a pretty credible job at character-building, though he does throw his cast into some situations that, if they happened in real life, you'd be calling patently ridiculous. (I want somehow to tie this to his day job as an editor on nature documentaries, but that would be stretching, even if it would allow me a gratuitous Berberian Sound Studio reference.) Interesting characters in stock situations...well, to be blunt, I wanted to like this a great deal more than I did, but I'm certainly not going to complain about a movie with sympathetic, well-drawn gay protagonists who react to those stock situations in believable ways. ** 1/2
½ February 4, 2014
Raw, disturbing & unconvincing.
½ April 30, 2013
watched this with my bf. Didn't know what to think of it tbh. Thought it was kinda a shame, sad and so on.. but i did like it .
½ November 27, 2012
Very surprised of how good this film was... only complaint was that their were bad acting in a few parts but overall, well done.
½ October 28, 2012
Mediocre acting, and it's execution as a gay gang movie could have been done better, but the story is surprisingly touching, and the ending is unpredictable & emotional. The message is basically 'homophobes are gay' both figuratively & literally.
October 12, 2012
Shank is exploitive enough to balance a gay romantic-drama story with gay softcore porn, gang violence, drug abuse, and a short range of moraless characters that lack any depth on a low-budget. However, thanks to moderately well direction and acting, that story is told realistically and raw.
October 7, 2012
Nice Brit flick. After a coupla scenes, i wasn't sure if i would finish it.. and began to fast-forward.. and found more juicier bits... and then the story got engaging.. ! When it ended, i found myself rewinding to the bits I had missed !
July 12, 2012
Estupenda. Cada minuto pura emociĆ³n. De pronto excesivamente fuerte, pero el final lo compensa.
June 30, 2012
Really hot and romantic!!
June 23, 2012
A low-budget, extremely graphic gang film revolving around Cal a 19yo English gang member who's coming to terms with his sexuality and the consequences thereof. The film is definitely not for those who can't stomach a lot of violence and sex (seriously, pornography-level sex). The movie was definitely emotional at times, but seemed to lack certain qualities that would have made it better. The acting also seemed stale on the part of Wayne Virgo (Cal). Marc Laurent pulled a convincing Olivier and Tom Bot and Alice Payne excelled at their respective roles and the emotion involved. All in all, a decent indie film; but definitely not the best in its genre.
May 12, 2012
Very good, but heavy going at times.
½ May 12, 2012
Acting was terrible, story was more of a school boy fantasy...Not my cup of tea!
April 11, 2012
Some bad acting but for the most part is decent. Definitely a strong stand against gay bullying, even if the script does come off like a sub-par Gallucio effort.
½ January 26, 2012
raw, to much needless violence for my taste, but with a moving storyline and some well acted scenes
January 11, 2012
Best gay film of the last few years.
½ December 4, 2011
The idea was to be a raw, powerhouse portrait of a young, gay street punk and the reality was near-pornography incased in a weak storyline, soggy performances and sloppy photography.
November 15, 2011
This film gives exactly what it needs to explaining about each person and actually making it realistic!! Brilliant film.
½ October 21, 2011
A noble amateur effort, but obviously amateur.
October 14, 2011
This movie is offensive. I don't recommend this to anyone.
September 19, 2011
I have to say the movie started out kind of strange but in the end it ended up being a really good movie. Something you can't judge by the beginning but you will get into it after like the first 20 minutes. Lots of boy on boy plus a story behind it all a Must See in my book.
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