It’s basically Downton Abbey on Crack!
The Riot Club is based on the play, Posh – which itself is a dramatised version of the infamous Bullingdon Club. Are you with me so far?
For those who don’t know, the notorious Bullingdon Club is an exclusive all-male unofficial students’ club at Oxford University, which boasts the likes of David Cameron, Boris Johnson and George Osborne as former members. Many local restaurants refuse to host their events, and if its members are anything like the characters in this film, I can’t say I blame them.
The movie follows Alistair (Sam Claflin) and Miles (Max Irons), who are two first year students chosen to be part of the scandalous Riot Club. Once initiated, it’s not long until the pair join the rest of the club for a private dinner engagement. Most members of the club seem to think that being filthy rich somehow enables them to act like repugnant savages, and before long they have trashed the restaurant beyond recognition. When the venue’s owner confronts the group, the situation becomes worse… a lot worse.
This disturbing glimpse into the dark side of the rich and privileged can be unpleasant to watch at times. But, to be honest, it’s these horribly uncomfortable sequences that provide some of the best moments of the film. It’s therefore such a shame that the dramatic scenes are too few and far between.
My biggest criticism is that there weren’t particularly any characters I was rooting for. It’s all very well cramming a film with unlikable characters, as long as the audience is given their fair share of likeable ones too – in this case, there are very few. For example, Miles is supposed to be the ‘hero’ of our story, and yet he avoided so many opportunities to do the right thing, I started to dislike him as much as the bad guys’.
Overall, The Riot Club is an enjoyable movie, but not one that will stick in my mind for long.
See The Riot Club (and much more) at the Showcase Cinema now. Visit www.showcasecinemas.co.uk for the latest up-to-date showtimes. You can also join the chat on Twitter @showcasecinemas or on Facebook by searching for ‘Showcase Cinemas UK’.
Cast: Max Irons, Douglas Booth, Sam Reid, Sam Claflin, Ben Schnetzer, Jack Farthing, Matthew Beard, Josh O’Connor, Freddie Fox, Olly Alexander, Jessica Brown Findlay, Holliday Grainger, Natalie Dormer, Tom Hollander & Gordon Brown (No, not that one!)
See it if you liked: History Boys &An Education[youtube id=”Fic0e8uspLI” width=”600″ height=”350″]