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Review byMatthew Turner14/01/2009

One out of Five stars
Running time: 94 mins

Below average British crime drama that's let down by a shockingly weak central performance, some poor direction, shoddy production design and a cop-out ending.

What's it all about?
Based on the true story of Coventry doorman Geoff Thompson, Clubbed stars Mel Raido as Danny, a factory worker who's estranged from his wife (Maxine Peake). When he takes his two young daughters to a working men's club, Danny is humiliatingly beaten up by vicious thugs employed by local ganglord Hennessy (Ronnie Fox).

On the verge of suicide, Danny joins a boxing club, where he's taken under the wing of nightclub owner Louis (Colin Salmon) and is befriended by Rob (Shaun Parkes) and Sparky (Scot Williams), two of Louis' bouncers. Danny duly gets a job as a doorman at Louis' club, but after striking back at his henchmen, Danny finds himself targeted by Hennessy.

The Bad
Unfortunately for Clubbed, it has recently had its thunder roundly stolen by the thematically similar Cass, which was a superior film in every imaginable way. To that end, the biggest problem with Clubbed is Raido's deeply unappealing, utterly charisma-free performance – with his high-pitched voice and his constant whining, it's almost impossible to sympathise with Danny.

The supporting cast are also badly drawn, though Salmon, Williams and especially Parkes all do their best with their underwritten roles. The film is also hampered by poor production design and some lazy direction, as well as a cop-out ending that's pitched as a vaguely cheeky twist, but is actually extremely annoying and lowers your opinion of Danny even further (at least Cass served his time).

The Worst
Ironically, the only thing that distinguishes Clubbed is a particularly violent scene in which one of the characters is nailed to his kitchen wall, crucifixion-style. Unfortunately, all this really accomplishes is to ensure that the film won't be shown on terrestrial TV anytime soon.

Worth seeing?
Where's Guy Ritchie when you really need him? Clubbed is a badly written, badly acted and poorly directed film that leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. Rent the excellent Cass instead.

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Content updated: 12/12/2019 05:08

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