The cast of Alleycats. Photograph: Christina Solomons

The East End Film Festival got off to a start last month, with the world premiere of Ian Bonhote’s debut feature, Alleycats.

It begins with trendy bike courier Chris speeding through London, weaving between traffic and capturing the city on a shaky GoPro camera strapped to his helmet.

When he stumbles upon an ultra-corrupt politician (John Hannah) leaning over the dead body of a young woman, he becomes embroiled in a blackmail plot that unfolds on two wheels in the streets and back alleys of the capital.

As things take a turn for the worst, Chris’s sister Danni gets behind the handlebars and steers the film on towards catastrophe.

With a hint of the Dogme 95 spirit about it, plus a decent soundtrack, there’s some promise early on, but a flimsy narrative, reams of clunky dialogue and a precocious but uninteresting approach to style render it ultimately flat.

Hannah brings something of a demonic-Malcolm-Tucker feel to his role and copes well with what little the script offers, but just about every other member of the cast gets it wrong, in this failed fusion of Guy Ritchie, Skins and the 90s cartoon series Biker Mice From Mars.

alleycatsfilm.com

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