This new take on the Charles Dickens classic 'Oliver Twist' imagines the titular hero (Rafferty Law) as a teenage graffiti artist living on the streets. He gets taken in by a gang led by Fagin (Michael Caine), but he's under the control of Sykes (Lena Headey). The pair of criminals and Fagin's gang members work together on a heist against art dealer Losberne (David Walliams). But Twist wonders if he's in over his head, especially as his feelings for Red (Sophie Simnett) grow stronger.
Within a minute of 'Twist' you've a close-up on the Dickens novel, just in case you didn't get it. This is far from the greater flaws 'Twist' comprises of, but from the outset one quickly feels like we're going to get something like 'Kingsman' (which most would consider good) or the new 'Robin Hood' movie (also starring Taron Edgerton, but most would consider bad). In quality, 'Twist' would be more like the latter, except it is even worse.
It's a shame too because there are some big names in this between Michael Caine, Lena Headey, David Walliams and Rita Ora. The latter plays Dodge in a gender-swapping "twist", which also extends to Sykes, who is dating Red. Rafferty Law is no Edgerton, but he does have one of those uncanny faces, until you realise it's Jude Law's son. Ah, where would the movie industry be without a little nepotism.
There are some neat little parkour routines as its teenage cast (and Rita Ora) run through the streets of London. Urban music blasts from the soundtrack, there's a meal which recalls the dinner scene in 'Hook' (except it's boring), and some truly terrible dialogue. For example, upon their discussing what will convince Twist to join them, Michael Caine says "He wants love," to which one wants to sink into and be consumed by the sofa with embarrassment.
The most annoying thing about 'Twist' is it barely makes any sense. These kids are not dressed like they're off the streets. Sure Rita Ora has a different outfit on every time the camera returns to her. And what exactly is the point behind the elaborate design of their den? The third act is the worst as Sykes proceeds to beat up children and cops, and brandishes her gun so many times it becomes meaningless.
Everything in the movie is dumb and repelling. At one point the protagonist loses the police in a crowd of Deliveroo drivers. The heist makes little to no sense either, and no one seems to really care when characters die... If the film was at least fun, you could appreciate the nonsense. One assumes a child wrote it, but then again, a child would have a better sense of imagination.
The movie genuinely gets worse as it progresses. And who is it for anyway? It has an infantile brain but children will find it boring while teens will find it lame. It may be a quick watch at just 85 minutes long but seriously, save yourself the effort.
'Twist' arrives on Sky Cinema on Friday, 29 January.