You wouldn’t be wrong in saying that Adam Deacon is fast becoming one of the hardest working actors in the British film industry – pipped to the post by the nation’s favourite geezer Danny Dyer. After playing Jay in gritty drama Kidulthood in 2005, he has rarely been off our screens both big and small.
His latest film Payback Season tells the life of premiership footballer Jerome Davis at the top of his game. After touching base with his old group of friends from his previous life on the council estate, Jerome now finds himself blackmailed and being forced to “make donations” to head honcho Baron (David Ajala) who feels he is owed a cut of Jerome’s fortune.
Now, being made, written and produced by Danny Donnelly who is better known in the music industry as head of Suburban Base Records and owner of many electronic album brands, the film is predictably like one long music video: Stylised glamour, loud (and I mean loud) music in almost every scene and enough product placement to easily confuse you into thinking you’re watching an advert rather than a feature film. Payback Season is Donnelly’s debut film and it really does show – painfully in some sequences.
Adam Deacon positively shined as Jay in both ‘hoods and more recently on television in Channel 4’s Dubplate Drama series. However, when asked to hold up a film on his own he seems to crumble under the weight or maybe the pressure. Whatever it is, Deacon is just not convincing enough for the character and so subsequently has his performance outshone by Ajala as the menacing psychopath Baron.
Muddled by a stereotypical script and the word “bruv” used by almost every character on screen, the film punches way above its weight as a feature film and feels more at home as a straight-to-DVD. Knowing that most of the cast probably can, and have done better than this film, slightly dumbs down its effectiveness.
Sticking with the theme of football, we are even treated to a less than impressive cameo from football legend Geoff Hurst as Jerome’s agent. So obviously a ploy for publicity, it doesn’t so much help the film, but hinders it.
By the time the climax of the film arrives, you look back and come to the conclusion that all Jerome has done in the film is annoy you with his stupidity, so any chance of him receiving your pity or admiration is far from gone. Hoping that Deacon’s next film Outside Bet – supporting Bob Hoskins – is significantly better, maybe we could put this one down to tiredness from being too overworked.
Catch the trailer for Payback Season here