"Harley Sylvester in his debut feature film on occasion evokes genuine fear"

The Guvnors, the latest hooligan themed thriller to be released on the silver-screen at first glance appears to be a generic, violent, testosterone ridden movie and unfortunately, unsurprisingly that is exactly what it is - all that is missing is an appearance from the cockney lad himself, Danny Dyer to make it that more commonplace.  

The film begins with a scene from the third act of the the movie exhibiting the striking image of protagonist, Mitch (Doug Allen), the once leader of a dominant, highly well-respected firm called The Guvnors having a gun held towards him by early 20’s, scarred leader of intimidating gang, Adam (Harley Sylvester, one half of Hip-Hop group Rizzle Kicks). 

Adam has a ruthless desire to obtain respect amongst the terrified inhabiters of the council estate he resides in. Mitch in contrast has strived to leave his past behind him spending his latter days in a middle class environment. However, Mitch’s attempt of covering his past withers when Adam becomes jealous of The Guvnors’ reputation. 

Regarding the performances in The Guvnors: Harley Sylvester in his debut feature film on occasion evokes genuine fear, but those moments are far too sparse as that emotion is only brought forth when the click from his retractable knife is heard. Unfortunately other than Mitch, who’s performance is of similar quality to Adam’s, only satisfying. 

Other actors are unable to showcase their acting ability because there is more of a concern of how much time is spent on the gratuitous violent acts, as opposed to fleshing out characters from both sides. There is little point in the violent acts  if we know next to nothing about them - it only leads to lack of immersion, as well as evoking boredom in the viewer. 

It is strenuous to involve oneself in The Guvnors, not solely because of the gratuitous acts but as well as the once great firm learning nothing, they still perceive violence to be rational - that includes Mitch who not long ago overtly wanted his past to be left behind him and is horrified to uncover his son’s awareness of his past. They do suffer a great loss throughout the film, however the lack of learning from their past results in not feeling much sympathy for the now aged hooligans. 

There is an attempt of a twist in the third act, however it falls flat because of the sheer ludicrousness of it. It conveys as a feeble attempt to drive home the message, the sins of one generation passing on to the next. There’s a strong possibility upon watching the twist unfold you will sit in your seat with your jaw dropped, but sadly it will be for the wrong reason.

There is no doubt The Guvnors has an audience, thus it would not be unexpected if it performs well in terms of how well it will be received in the box-office. However, a large portion of the public will certainly perceive it as a below average, brainless hoodie themed thriller.