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Movie Review by EDF

Starring: Ken Stott, Nick Moran, Kate Ashfield, Dominic Monaghan, Linda Bassett

Director: Colin Teague

The British film industry seems to be slowly getting its act together. In the last few years there have been a handful of movies that have been getting their just accolades abroad. SPIVS tries its best to be an engaging thriller but ends up trying too hard to please everyone while including elements of comedy and real-life issues.

So then, what is a ‘spiv’? According to the explanation at the start of the movie, a spiv is a man, especially a well-dressed one, doing dodgy dealings. Jack (Ken Scott), on one of his cons, reprocesses items from Nigel’s (Jack Dee) construction office. Jack finds out that Nigel is overseeing a delivery of expensive goods for Villa (Tamer Hassan), the local mobster. Jack and his team intercept the delivery but are disappointed to find that the truck is carrying a different type of goods – illegal immigrants. Jack reluctantly takes a young brother and sister in, who can’t speak English and are trying to find their older sister who lives in London. While Jack is occupied with the kids, some of his gang decide to organise their own con against Jack’s wishes. Will they be able to pull off their own scam and will Jack find the kids’ sister?

SPIVS is a brave effort from writer and director Colin Teague. While not the perfect movie, the script is thankfully not predictable and the actors put in a decent effort as well. With a supporting cast including the likes of Paul Kaye, Dominic Monaghan and Kate Ashfield, it is Ken Scott’s performance that really draws you into the movie. While not as fast paced as LOCK, STOCK or LAYER CAKE, it is well shot and for the most part enjoyable.

4 out of 6 stars