Adulthood (15)

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The View Review

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Review byMatthew Turner18/06/2008

Adulthood London Premiere

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 99 mins

Entertaining, impressively directed sequel with a sharply written script and strong performances from Scarlett Alice Johnson and writer-director-star Noel Clarke.

What's it all about?
Six years after the events of Kidulthood, Sam Peel (writer-director-star Noel Clarke) gets out of prison, having served his time for killing popular youngster Trife with a baseball bat. Sam intends to start a new life, but he soon becomes the target of a revenge attack orchestrated by Trife's friend Jay (Adam Deacon), who has become a vicious drug dealer and street gangster.

Meanwhile, Sam strikes up a friendship with Lexi (EastEnders actress Scarlett Alice Johnson), a lonely girl who promises to help Sam make peace with some of the people he hurt in the past. At the same time, Trife's other friend Moony (Femi Oyeniran) has turned his life around and is studying at university, but will he be dragged into Jay's revenge plans?

The Good
The most impressive thing about Adulthood is the way in which it explores the consequences of Kidulthood and, in doing so, successfully turns the villain of the first film into the hero of the sequel. The fact that we genuinely root for Sam to succeed is a testament to the strength of Noel Clarke's triple whammy of script, direction and performance.

As with the first film (also written by Clarke), the script shows a firm grasp of slang and the (occasionally unintelligible) dialogue feels authentic and natural. Clarke also orchestrates some incredibly tense sequences and pulls off a couple of decent narrative twists (though one is admittedly more successful than the other).

The Great
The supporting cast are excellent, particularly Scarlett Alice Johnson, who paints a subtle picture of a girl who's so desperate for acceptance that she modifies her accent depending on who she's talking to. However, Adam Deacon rather overdoes the foul-mouthed thug routine, not least because he's given exactly the same performance in every film he's ever done.

Worth seeing?
Adulthood is a worthy and engaging sequel to the first film that marks Noel Clarke out as a talent to watch. Recommended.

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Adulthood (15)
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Content updated: 26/09/2015 09:22

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