LFF Review: Jacked


A solid urban thriller short, with a surprisingly deep twist that's perfectly performed.

  • 8

Two of Britain’s most promising upcoming actors headline a gritty urban short that surprisingly enough, packs a little more heart than one would expect.

Jacked finds a pair of desperate car-jackers searching the back-alleys of East London for the perfect car to turn a profit. But when they finally do set their sights on what they initially think to be the perfect prize, they discover a series of tapes stashed inside which, when listened-to, end up dividing the duo and raising certain moral questions.

It’s an interesting set-up that’s neatly brought to life by director Rene Pannevis, who’s handling of the film’s more emotional centre is nothing short of exceptional. There may be a little too much padding around the sides, especially for such a short run-time, but when Pannevis does clue into this slightly deeper mindset, it’s incredibly effective; an unexpected twist on a more basic urban premise.

Aside from this, Jacked really belongs to its two stars. Native Londoner Charley Palmer Rothwell (last seen alongside Tom Hardy in last month’s Legend) and his partner in crime Thomas Turgoose (of This Is England fame) make for an exciting and believable pair, showcasing a natural chemistry that really sells the film’s more realist tone. Turgoose may be the one who engages more with the emotional beats, but both actors make their talents known and prove equally as watchable overall.

For the short amount of time it occupies, Jacked manages to convey a great deal of differing styles and feelings, making good use of its two exceptional stars and covering the grittier side of British drama well. The hard-nosed morals at the centre of its story are certainly the highlight, and a little more focus on them and their corresponding dilemma may have made for a stronger film, but all-in-all, this is an incredibly solid and well-honed effort.

Jacked (2015), directed by Rene Pannevis, was shown as part of the 2015 BFI London Film Festival. Further information about the film including screening times and ticket information can be found here


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Former Film Editor, Film graduate and general supporter of all things moving-picture related. Accidentally obsessed with Taylor Swift. Long-time Ellen Page fanboy.

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