Directed by Ron Scalpello and written by Paul Van Carter, Offender delivers an action- packed thriller. The film’s primary objective is to take audiences through todayʼs youth justice system. The story is told through the eyes of Tommy Nix (Joe Cole). Tommyʼs entire life revolves around his beloved girlfriend Elise (Kimberly Nixon) and his unborn child. In a brutal and disturbing sequence, Tommyʼs girlfriend is badly beaten. This ignites the rage in Tommy who will do whatever it takes to bring those responsible to “justice.”
The film is pretty good as it brings the not so long ago London riots as a major aspect in the film. Those riots happened last summer and it resulted in £200 million of damage and approximately 3,100 people arrested. Offender clearly uses last yearʼs London riots as a vocal point in the film and tries to portray how poorly the youth justice system is operating. Producer Nick Taussig acknowledged that they wanted this to be the first film about the recent riot. Director Scalpello filmed the riot over the streets of London with 300 youths burning cars and wreaking havoc. Offender did a great job portraying the riot scenes and showed the chaos of a riot in a realistic fashion.
In regards to the acting, Joe Cole does a nice job, but sometimes it was difficult to see him as this bad-boy, destructive guy. Superiorly outsized by most of the cast including the antagonist Jake, played by English Frank, Cole was specifically intended to play the underdog. The underdog theme is continued throughout, and Offender delivers a raw and vicious sequence of fighting. Other cast members like G FrSH, Scorcher, and already mentioned English Frank predominately came from the rap scene which gives the film a nice edge.
Overall, Offender is a good film and is the first production to take on the London riots last August. The film takes you into the youth justice system and gives authentic details. The violent scenes in the film are intense, and by no means sugar-coated. Some scenes are rather gruesome and head-turning, but they are merely showcasing the nature of real violence. In addition to the action theme, Offender also provides a heartfelt romance between Tommy (Cole) and Elise (Nixon) which is a nice touch. All things considered, the ending was incomplete and it didnʼt bring the film full circle. In spite of that, it is still worth seeing. The running time is 99 minutes, and is released in cinemas on 8th August.
Watch the trailer for Offender here: