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Fast Food Review

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Benny is a telephone engineer bored with his life. When he reunites with some old friends, he gets sucked into their ever-so-slightly criminal ways - and finds it impossible to get back out. Meanwhile, he tries to rescue an old flame from her life working on a sex line.

★★★★★

Its anyone's guess whether Douglas Henshall strides through this Brit flick looking dazed and confused because his character can't get to grips with his old mates' penchant for threatening behaviour or because he realises he's the star of a badly misfiring production.

Henshall plays telephone engineer Benny, who's reunited with his old muckers Zac, Jacko, Bisto and Flea, a bunch of lowlifes who fancy themselves as kings of the underworld. They laze around their sty of a flat arguing about social trivia like characters who didn't quite make it into a Quentin Tarantino movie. Although they're keen to welcome Benny back into the fold, when his test of loyalty involves robbing a sweetshop safe, it dawns on him that you can't simply reclaim the past - or walk away when you know too much.

His plight is amplified by the fact that he has implausibly made contact with a childhood sweetheart through a telephone sexline: Letitia (Woof) is blind, imprisoned by a small-time Mr. Big called Dwayne (Anderson) whose ill-gotten gains are stored in the shop safe, and has taken to dancing around in fairy clothes like a 10 year-old. Benny vows to rescue her, but that brings him chin to chin with the vicious Dwayne.

On show is a smattering of clever one-liners, a mordant wit and stylish camerawork, but the characters are unendearing, the central romance inexplicable and the slasher mentality becomes grating.