Dad Savage (Stewart) is a tulip grower and criminal godfather, who hires two of his son's friends to help with the business. But when they find out where he has buried his money and decide to steal it, things go tragically wrong.
A group of characters all gathered together in the one room following a robbery gone wrong, injured and dying, and dying to find out who stitched them up. Sound familiar? There's more than a touch of Reservoir Dogs to the basic scenario and Tarantino's energy has certainly been taken on board by the cast and crew of Dad Savage. But there's also a solid little drama here with some strong performances, particularly from Star Trek's dominant slaphead Stewart.
He's the titular Dad, a tulip farming, country and western loving, line dancing man, who just happens to have his finger in a few hidden criminal pies. The love of his life is son Sav (Jake Wood), who enlists two potentially wayward school friends, Vic (Marc Warren) and Bob (Joe McFadden), to help out Dad's blooming empire. Only Vic and Bob find out where the money is buried, and what should be a simple robbery goes tragically wrong. Evans' film opens with a blast, perhaps more than it needs to, as the first reel is by far its most obviously derivative - its emphasis on style and its arch dialogue about the benefits of one handgun over another conflicting with the film's rural English locations and flaunting that Tarantino influence.
Once this - and the unexpected pick-up truck falling through the floor routine - are dispensed with, the film settles into a far more comfortable place, guided by Stewart's strong-minded underplaying, and solid performances all round. Trainspotting's McKidd comes firmly into his own as Dad's second-in-command, but the stand-out among the young 'uns is undoubtedly Helen McCrory as Bob's initially innocent sister Chrissie, a talent that's clearly going places fast.
Dad Savage remains an engagingly mixed movie which tries at times to impress with surface gloss while the real interest lies in its effectively taut unfolding of the story.
Reviewed by William Thomas