Best Laid Plans Review

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Danny (Stephen Graham) is a thug who gets himself indebted to a local gangster. In order to pay off his debts, Danny manipulates his friend Joseph (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), a giant with the mental age of a seven year old, to participate in underground cage fighting.


Stephen Graham's Danny and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s Joseph demonstrate that schemes of mice and men oft go awry, as they channel George and Lennie on the streets of Nottingham. Danny pushes his mentally disabled friend into the world of bare-knuckle boxing in order to pay off drug debts to a local crime boss (David O’Hara). Neither this main plot strand nor subplots involving love interests engage as much as they should, but there’s no denying that the central relationship borrowed from Steinbeck is a compelling one. Thankfully both Chris Green’s script and the two leads do it justice; Agbaje’s Method approach pays dividends, and complements a typically assured performance from Graham.

A gritty homage to Of Mice and Men that has all the makings of a great film, but rarely delves deep enough into the character's relationships.