On Friday night I caught a new movie, the feature-length debut from director Ian Bonhôte, a crime action thriller film titled “Alleycats”.
An independent film, over £55k of additional funding was raised by a Kickstarter campaign that kicked off in January 2015, and filming took place around London between March and May of last year.
We start with Chris (Josh Whitehouse – “Northern Soul”), a bike courier in the Capital, who witnesses what looks like the murder of a young woman when he is delivering packages. He runs and manages to get away with the aid of his bike, together with the footage that his helmet-mounted GoPro camera captured of the incident.
Later, during a mass illegal street race of fellow couriers, Chris finds himself being tailed by a mysterious black-clad figure on a motorbike. Attempting to escape, Chris is knocked from his bike and killed in a hit-and-run collision with a 4×4.
Chris’s sister Danni (Eleanor Tomlinson – “Styria”, “Poldark”), who has been away, returns and is convinced that his death is no accident. However Danni seems to have a troubled past relationship with authority so the police are dismissive of what she has to say, leading her to set off and undertake her own investigation.
Along the way she has help from ex-boyfriend Jake (Sam Keeley – “Anthropoid”, “In The Heart Of The Sea”, another bike courier, and Redman (John Lynch – “Black Death”, “The Fall”) who is seeking his missing daughter and is sure that Chris knew something about what happened to her.
It’s made clear that there is someone within the courier community that Danni should be wary of, but you’re never quite sure who that is until they are finally unmasked.
It also becomes clear that Chris – together with an unknown accomplice – was blackmailing government minister Yates (John Hannah – “The Last Legion”, “Rebus”), the kind of self-serving corrupt politician that seem to be practically everywhere you look these days! Yates was the man Chris saw bending over the body of the young woman at the start of the film, and he and his deadly fixer Rives (Virgile Bramly – “Opium”, “Kill Me Please”) are determined to retrieve the footage from Chris’s camera and silence anyone who gets in their way…
Early on in the film I wasn’t sure that I was going to stay the course. I was irritated that almost all of the riders in the Alleycats races chose not to wear cycle helmets and were essentially exactly the kind of riders who give cyclists a bad name, and there seemed to be too much focus on the riding and less on the plot. However, it soon picked up and retained my interest and turned out to be a pretty decent thriller. Worth a viewing…