Twist: a Guy Ritchie mimic mangled with Dickens


Twist has a few ingredients for greatness, wasted on something far more inferior to any of its influences. Not even a solid roster of British stars could quite save this predictable adaptation.

It was announced earlier in January that Sky has big plans to ramp up its roster of original film and TV content to compete with streaming giants. But if this is the best of what it has to offer I'd be far from excited.

Twist is a modern 'twist' on the classic Charles Dickins tale featureing two well executed gender-switches, Oliver as a young London graffiti artist and Michael Caine as an ex-art dealer turned con man. It lines up very big names whilst promising a Guy Ritchie inspired crime approach. Lena Headey, Rita Ora, Michael Caine, Noel Clarke, David Walliams and Rafferty Law (Jude's son of an uncanny likeness) all make the line up. So there's some ingredients for greatness, but seems to mix it all up.

You just can’t tell exactly what Twist is trying to be. It’s not remotely funny but feels like it would like to be. It's trying to be some gutsy heist thriller but never seems to thrill and only delivers a little bit of heist. So I think maybe it’s just trying to be a bit of family friendly fun? Then Cersei Lannister drops an F bomb. To add to the mess there’s a coming of age romance going on underneath it all and the infamous Keith Lemon popping in and out.

It’s trying too many things at once and fails at every single one.

The cast are enjoyable to watch. Providing all the weight to this mostly weightless ripoff are Noel Clarke, Lena Headey and Michael Caine who do a good job considering what I can imagine was pretty lacklustre guidance when compared to what they've had before. The same can't be said for the leading role though. As much as he looks like Jude Law he doesn’t have the same panache as his dad. Perhaps it’ll develop a bit more over time, but he’s not too impressive here.

One thing that may be holding me back is the fact that I'm no longer 12. It could be a real hit with younger audiences who just want 90 minutes of rude fun before bed. And it is quite fun at times with a run time that doesn't drag and some exciting shots of freerunning teenagers here and there.

That doesnt hide Twist from what it is though. A lot of great directors like Kubrick and Anderson steal tidbits of ideas from other great directors to either pay homage and respect to them or enrich their films with a deeper significance. Here, Martin Owen just feels like he's mimicing every Guy Ritchie cliche under the sun to make his movie seem cooler. It doesn't.

Twist completely abandons the plot of the original story all in the name of 'being cool'. The fact that it's called Twist is basically just a marketing ploy. The novelty ends up wearing off completely by the end and it fails to establish any greater meaning. It's doing lots of new things that create no bigger advantage compared to what the original story offers.

There's nothing unexpected other than how mediocre it all feels, never feeling like its living up to what it could be and often restraining itself. The heart’s in the right place, but nothing else is.

Any Good? I watched Twist so that you don't have to.

Twist is now available to stream on Sky Cinema