I once went to see my dad’s amateur dramatic company put on The Crucible – a three-hour production. There were four prompts in the first fifteen minutes. I knew I was in for a long night.
Fifteen minutes into Once Upon a Time in London’s cod Cockney, crass, gangster crap and the same sinking feeling suffocated me.
New to Netflix and waved promoted as if it’s proud of it, Once Upon a Time in London is directed by Simon Rumley and boasts Terry Stone as its leading thespian. Terry Stone, an actor who has been in every one of the Rise of the Footsoldier football hooligan filmic abominations, is perfect for Once Upon a Time in London. Perfect in that he’s crap and a great indication that the film will be too.
There’s no doubt that Netflix is in part guilty of a throwaway culture the internet has thrust upon us, just as Bumble and Give Me Sport are. However, the fact you can turn off rubbish like Once Upon a Time in London is a boon.
Where my dad’s The Crucible improved (no more prompts), Once Upon a Time in London only gets worse. It plumbs the depths of stereotypes and stilted acting. Even the violence can’t save it. The accents and the affects are awful – there isn’t a single part of it which attempts to disguise how bad it is.
There’s an old adage that nobody sets out to make a bad movie. That’s rather scary in Once Upon a Time in London’s case, because surely everyone involved knew they were stepping in a giant turd from the first frame?