They're racing for pinks. This drama set in the boy racer scene engages to a point before losing the run of itself when it takes its eyes off the road.
With little to do in their small border town, teenager Alice (McGrath) and her older brother Tom (Murphy) are seduced by the souped up cars that roar down the country roads in the middle of the night. One of these racers catches Alice's eye - the scarred Jimmy (Scott) who drives a snazzy Skyline - and he introduces her into a world of illegal racing. However, Jimmy earns money by nefarious means to fund the lifestyle and he slowly pulls Alice into that world too. Tom repeatedly wants Alice away from bad boy Jimmy, which of course has the opposite effect...
Working from Brian Leydon's script, director Johnny Gogan (The Last Bus Home, Mapmaker) dips us into a world that while may have been covered at length by Hollywood has yet to be explored this side of the water. The obvious budget constraints play havoc with some, but not all, the racing scenes with Gogan unable to get the cars going at the speed they're designed to, and is sometimes forced to cut away from crashes and close calls to reaction shots. Okay, so it was never going to be Fast & Furious (and there's enough of them already) but if a story is set in the underworld of racing and you can't get the cars going fast, then why make the film?
But that's forgivable until Black Ice just forgets about all the racing guff anyway and veers off in another direction - Jimmy's clandestine gig as a ‘sweeper' for local businessman Francie Shine (Michael Harding). Shine's boys are siphoning off petrol from the local quarry construction and selling it south of the border, and they need Jimmy to ‘sweep' the route to see if the local Garda (O'Kelly, The Van) is knocking about. These sequences contrast nicely with the racing ones, as they're more about stealth than speed, but they lack the needed tension. That's because we're not really invested in Jimmy's story - Alice is the one that holds our attention.
Jane McGrath delivers as first the socially awkward teenager and then as the steady grown up.
Review by Gavin Burke | 11:07 | Thursday 12th September 2013 | Movie Review
This film was pretty poor, particularly for an Irish film. It made me groan for the future of the Irish film industry. It didn't help that the digital print that I saw in Cineworld was in bad shape. It was overly bright, the colours were washed out and night scenes were fuzzy and full of digital artefacts like blockiness, like an Internet video. I'm assuming that's either a fault in the digital print or simply a result of poor production values.Posted 11:15 | Sun 22nd Sep 2013
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