(Chris Evans, Jessica Biel, et al / DVD / R / (2005) 2006 / Sony Pictures)
Overview: 'London,' a film written and directed by Hunter Richards, warns against the allure of cocaine as protagonist Sid (Chris Evans), loses his girlfriend, London, and also loses his mind from drug use. Set mostly in a bathroom at London's going away party, the film features Sid doing coke with various model-type chicks, while mustering up courage to go downstairs and make peace with his ex-girlfriend.
DVD Verdict: In this excruciating drama, self-pity replaces conflict and drugs supplant pathos. The story revolves around Syd (a nearly unrecognizable Chris Evans), a dope-smoking and coke-snorting mess who appears to be falling apart because his girlfriend, the lovely and elusive London (Jessica Biel), dumped him two months earlier. When Syd learns that London is about to move across the country with her new boyfriend, Syd resolves to crash her going-away party. He arrives at the shindig, which is at a posh Manhattan high-rise, in tow with Bateman (Jason Statham), an easily agitated Brit who has just sold cocaine to Syd. From this setup, first-time writer-director Hunter Richards ostensibly wants to examine the psychological scars of relationships and how those wounds inform our views of God, spirituality and the like. Alas, such introspection would be a lot more interesting if the movie included a single character worthy of our attention. Syd is morose, belligerent and self-absorbed -- traits that, we learn in flashbacks, applied to him even before he and London broke up. Bateman fares slightly better, thanks chiefly to Statham's charisma. And as for London? She is little more than a MacGuffin made flesh (although Jessica Biel is admittedly choice flesh), a plot contrivance that allows Syd to throw tantrums and snort more cocaine than a gaggle of supermodels on a diet. Despite sleek cinematography and fine production values, 'London' can't shake what essentially feels like a very bad stage play. In a spacious marble bathroom overlooking Manhattan, Syd and Bateman spit out coke-addled monologues about impotence, penis size and whether there is a God, with periodic interruptions from lissome Joy Bryant and Kelli Garner as sexy cokeheads. Indeed at one point, Biel tells Evans, "I'm sick of your pseudo-intellectual bullsh*t ... you keep going and going and going until someone just wants to smash your face in." Sitting through parts of this movie, I knew just what she meant! As for the Special Features you will find an Audio Commentary Track with writer-director Hunter Richards and co-producer Ross Weinberg (who says very little); a 'London': Behind The Scenes nine-minute Featurette about the making of the movie; and four deleted scenes that add little to our appreciation of 'London.' In fact, one scene involves two characters, who don't even appear in the final cut, talking at a bar! This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
4 Deleted Scenes
Director/Producer Audio Commentary
'London' Behind The Scenes Featurette
Subtitles in both English and French.