Two first-year students at Oxford University join the infamous Riot Club, where reputations can be made or destroyed over the course of a single evening.Two first-year students at Oxford University join the infamous Riot Club, where reputations can be made or destroyed over the course of a single evening.Two first-year students at Oxford University join the infamous Riot Club, where reputations can be made or destroyed over the course of a single evening.
The film has a lot of things going for it despite this, it has an INCREDIBLE cast of young men, the whole premise is pitched just right and when it needs to the tension is palpitatable, So why isn't it a better movie? I think we need to take a second look at this to get to the bottom of it properly.
The Riot Club begins as it means to go on, within the first 5 minuets we are shown hard drug use, strong sex scenes, violence and bad language, it never tries to hide or conceal what it is, but then I suppose this is where the problem starts because a movie like The Riot Club (much like A Clockwork Orange really), tries to live in two camps at once, those being the one of class commentary and the other of exploitation cinema. Nobody is going to defend The Riot Club for not being an exploitation film.
I think the thing that The Riot Club lacks most noticeably when compared to both the trailer and the general air of the film is ferocity. When I sat down to watch The Riot Club I expected darkness and debauchery, and what I ended up getting was something mildly unsettling, sure there are flurries of vindictiveness in the film, but they are in the trailer. I wanted to see a film that would justify the tenseness that I felt during some of the periods of the movie, but instead what I came out with was a feeling of confusion to what the hell happened to it all.
The Riot Club works perfectly to a pint, and then during the third act totally loses its way and decides it's run out of time anyway, so brings everything to a screeching halt almost mid flow. That is a crime I can't forgive, to deny me a justified ending to a film I was largely enjoying is wrong.
I feel it goes without saying that film has a superior showing of young up and comers, but what I feel should be said is that aside from the main male dominated teens, there is a surprising mix of other actors and actresses too, this is always a welcomed surprise.
At times The Riot Club is funny, at times it's uncomfortable but it never reaches the depths it desires or needed to for me. The talents on display are strong and that's what lifts it above the mundane.
- Oct 6, 2014