Now this is a little more my speed, not that ‘Freight’ was particularly a good movie. You see I’d thought I’d watch myself a proper British film in the Stephen Frears directed ‘Tamara Drewe’. Let’s just consider that horrific two hours of my life a failed experiment. Now we are back to something I can relate to, this being blokes I can barely understand punching each other in the face and shooting each other in the head. Outstanding.
Right off the bat it may help your enjoyment of this film to have an extra strong surge of United Kingdom national pride running through your veins which also causes you to suffer from a touch of xenophobia. So Zaf (Stephen Uppal) and Julie (Laura Aikman) are going to be married in a couple of days even though Zaf’s Middle Eastern parents don’t seem to like blondes all that much, but this bit of info doesn’t have much to do with our story. Zaf works for Julie’s old man Gabe (Billy Murray) delivering porta-potties and on this particular day somebody has stolen the porta-potty truck with Zaf trapped in one of the porta-potties he was trying to deliver.
Simple enough. Zaf calls for help, Gabe, his right hand man Jed (Craig Fairbass) and their crew go to fetch the boy. The problem is that this porta-potty was snatched by the organization of a super evil Romanian cat named Cristi (Danny Midwinter) who is a pimp, human trafficker, child exploiter, illegal fight promoter and anything else rotten that a single person can be involved in. A big fight ensues, some random Romanian thug dies in the process and Zaf is safe but Cristi informs Gabe that it would really be in his best interest to just kill him now. Personally I’m into granting wishes but Gabe takes the idle threats of this foreigner as just that. Plus this is his country. The nerve of this clown threatening him in his country.
Then the bad stuff starts happening. First Gabe’s boxing gym is blowed up. Jed had to ask Zaf if his folks did this… I mean they are Middle Eastern, right? But Gabe knows exactly who did this. Worse still is that his baby girl Julie was in this gym and has been stolen by Cristi and if they don’t find out where she is soon, there’s no telling what this lunatic will do to her. But it gets even worse. Gabe also has three sons. Stevie (Sam
Kennard) is okay, working as a successful businessman but his twin brother Sonny (Matt Kennard) was involved in Cristi’s illegal ultimate fighting competition and baby brother Karl (Luke Aikman) had the misfortune of watching Sonny die in the ring. Note they wouldn’t have even been doing this if cheap foreign labor hadn’t snatched up their construction gigs.
There’s also a side story going on involving one of Cristi’s imported families, the woman forced to work at the strip club, which is way more appealing than working in the saunas, her husband forced to fight in cages against his will and their daughter that Cristi is prepping for the highest pedophilic bidder. He’s not a nice person. Good thing Jed is around because Jed is about to clean up all of this mess by punching people in the face and shooting them in the head. This… I can relate to.
Stuart St. Paul’s ‘Freight’ probably should’ve been better than it was because it does possess a lot of the core elements which usually make for a solid action flick. For instance most really good action movies are defined by their bad guy and Danny Midwinter’s character of Cristi is about as bad as they come. But with all of Cristi’s sneering, and the laugh cackle he had that was lifted right off of Fearless Leader from those Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons, he was a little on the cartoonish side of things. The movie also lacked a central, focused main character. Craig Fairbass eventually stole the show, as he tends to do in the movies he shows up in, but his show stealing was in detriment to Billy Murray’s character of Gabe who I think was supposed to be our primary hero in this thing. The problem was that his toilet salesman / MI5 secret agent, or whatever he was before he started peddling toilets, was far too sketchy. They needed to spend a little more time on him, letting us know why he’s who he is. They touched on it a little, but only a little.
The action sequences were solid and well done, but again maybe a little too cartoonish in their presentation. How many street shootouts and explosions and car chases and car crashes can one town experience without a single cop ever showing up? We don’t like cops getting in the way of our action movies either, but every once in a while they need to show up just to let us know they exist.
There was some classic stuff in this movie though, like when the future whore jumped through the plate glass window to avoid whoring or when baby brother over there started wildly and uncontrollably shooting people in the face, and it’s not like I wasn’t entertained by this movie considering all of the entertainable (not a word) elements that were stuffed in this movie, and I didn’t even mind the politics so much since they did integrate properly with the crazy story that St. Paul was telling. It’s just that if my man could’ve toned it down a bit, maybe bring the overload of action and evil down to a level that exists on a planet that I’m more familiar with, and perhaps place a touch more focus on our main character… It just seemed that this should’ve been better. Still, I’d watch this a hundred times before watching another five minutes of Tamara Drewe.