Jet Trash – Review (Edinburgh Film Festival)

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Boasting enough slow-motion shots to make the average episode of Top Gear blush, Jet Trash is a backpacker thriller all about… well, top gear.

Boasting enough slow-motion shots to make the average episode of Top Gear blush, Jet Trash is a backpacker thriller all about… well, top gear.

Two friends find themselves lounging around, living a hedonistic existence and spending the days and nights partying. Lee (Robert Sheehan) and Sol (Osy Ikhile) have to also watch one another’s backs as they are on the run from a Marlowe (Craig Parkinson), a violent London gangster.

The party suddenly stops when Vix (Sofia Boutella), an old flame of Lee’s and Marlowe’s, suddenly turns up on the beach in Goa that has now become home.

The arrival of Vix could be a sign of Marlowe returning too, but Lee has a habit of ruining things all by himself. Sol becomes increasingly paranoid about just who is responsible for his misery and when the Indian police show up he doesn’t know who to believe.

The hedonistic lifestyle portrayed in Jet Trash is of a stripped down version. The beach parties are sparsely populated and Goa in general could be any beach in a sunny climate. You wonder if this is due to constraints in the budget. We end up spending a lot of time with Lee, and the problem with that is he just isn’t very likeable.

Sheeham is well on the way to becoming one of the most interesting actors around. There is a quirky charm he exudes, but his take on Lee is just annoying. You constantly end up rooting for whoever he goes up against.

The good news is that when the paranoia gets hold of those around the main characters, Vix and Sol also spar with the main character. Osy Ikhile recently seen in Mission: Impossible 5 and In The Heart of the Sea, will also star in the upcoming Tarzan movie. He makes for a great companion and thankfully isn’t relegated to sidekick. His journey is the one that grips the viewer the most.

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Sol’s apprehension of Vix drives the story forward well, just as the almost endless trippy sequences and hippy nonsense begins to overpower it.

Boutella is also a talent fast on the rise. Previously she has relied on her dancing background to get roles such as the lead in StreetDance 2. Even when playing the amputee assassin with killer legs in Kingsman, her ability to move gracefully was at the forefront.

The role here is something entirely different. It might not be the most substantial part she will play, she is actually set to play the title character in The Mummy, the new Tom Cruise film next year, but it is a dramatic highpoint. When we learn more about her, and what is motivating her to take some extreme actions, she is superb.

Back to the film itself, however, we follow a predictable path. The Beach might be an instant reference point, but there is also a smattering of Sexy Beast here. Both those films are far superior to Jet Trash, and in the case of the latter show up another of the flaws here.

The Beach might be an instant reference point, but there is also a smattering of Sexy Beast here. Both those films are far superior to Jet Trash, and in the case of the latter show up another of the flaws here.

Marlowe just isn’t intimidating enough. He should ooze menace and frighten viewers and on screen characters alike. Unfortunately, he a bit wet, and relies on a lot of fuzzy logic.

Jet Trash is a good-looking film and has an equally attractive cast who are let down by an overly-stylistic visual look and under written script.

Jet Trash received its world premiere at the Edinburgh Film Festival and will be released later this year.

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About Cassam Looch

Cassam Looch has been watching films ever since his first trip to the cinema to catch Care Bears: The Movie and writing about them after a traumatic incident involving Moonwalker. If he's not hassling celebrities on the red carpet, he'll usually be found in the darkened screening rooms of Soho.

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