Though far from being a masterpiece – or even just good – this independent British thriller is better than the 1 star reputation it has managed to cultivate. The acting is dodgy and the plotting weak, but a claustrophobia-inducing atmosphere and menacing tension is kept strong throughout.
Danny Dyer, who became a bit of a joke a long time ago, plays an escaped convict who kidnaps a young woman. He tells her to keep quiet or he’ll cut up her face and neck, a threat that is evocative of the misogynist advice Dyer used to dole out to readers of Zoo magazine. Who knows, maybe he’s now using film roles to self advertise.
The story is all over the place as our characters drive through London at night. The abductor and the abducted occasionally have moments of interesting conversation, but generally the dialogue is a mixture of threatening language and clichéd script-writing.
The most insultingly awful scene occurs when a car radio is turned on so the viewers can listen to bucket-loads of exposition told in the form of a news report.
But for all its flaws, Hellboy II actor Anna Walton is rather good as the kidnapped female. Thankfully the level of sexual threat is kept mercifully low, as too many films of this kind indulge a little too enthusiastically in rape plots (Straightheads, another dire Dyer film, springs to mind).
There is much better stuff out there to waste your time on, but if you are really stuck for a cheap movie to watch Deviation isn’t the worst you could do.
Deviation (2011), directed by J.K. Amalou, is released on blu-ray and DVD in the UK by Revolver Entertainment, Certificate 15.