Dir.: Femi Oyeniran, Kalvadour Peterson
Cast: Dylan Duffus, Tayo ‘Scorcher’ Jarrett, Jade Asha, Sarah Akokhia
UK 2016, 104 min.
Directors/writers/producers Femi Oyeniran and Kalvadour Peterson exploit every stereotype of black-gangland in this East London crime thriller. THE INTENT is as foul-mouthed as it is simplistic and self-indulgent.
Led by the trigger-happy Hoodz (Jarrett), the TIC gangland violence soon erupts from weed peddling into robbing shops and post offices. Officer Lee Biggins (Duffus) tries to infiltrate the gang, but his superior, Sergeant Rebecca Smith (Akokhia) cannot work out if Biggins has changed sides. After Naema (Asha), witnesses the brutal killing of her mother in a TIC robbery in their shop, she discovers a mask worn by the gang in her boyfriend’s apartment and goes to the police, but Smith cannot prove anything, having to rely on the dithering Biggins.
DoP Scott Sandford has done a professional job, slow motion and jump-cuts dominating, but he cannot save a banal narrative which uses cardboard cutouts instead of personalities, the result overstays its welcome by at least 20 minutes. Like the whole exercise, the acting is over the top, in a senseless self-parody. Ultimately it seems the filmmakers’ immaturity has rubbed off on the whole project, dangerously reinforcing every single prejudice about black youth in the inner city. AS
ON RELEASE FROM 22 JULY 2016