With a prologue that shows the lethal devastation Concrete Plans will wind its way towards, Jewell’s film manages to build up a taut tension that is almost unbearable. The violent release this leads to is exceptional and there are several impressively blood-soaked moments in Concrete Plans’ second half. The film manages to maintain a degree of surprise for how this all goes down that this critic won’t ruin here.
Part of the impact of the film’s third act comes from the time spent early on to build three-dimensional figures for the narrative to hang off. A fixture of both television and blockbusters (where he has popped up in minor roles in some of the biggest films of the late 90s and 00s) Steve Speirs excels here, effectively portraying a likeable figure put in a difficult position. Amber Rose Revah (a familiar face for fans of The Punisher series) impresses in a role that is better written then you might expect, whilst there is great work from the likes of Charley Palmer Rothwell, Chris Reilly and Goran Bogdan. A well-written script and a great ensemble takes Concrete Plans far. And also deserving of ample praise is cinematographer Rachel Clarke, who manages to find beauty in the grimly Welsh setting. Her work is a key component of why this film works as well as it does.
Concrete Plans bubbles away with interesting ideas, a tight little exploration of this corrupt little isle that slowly crushes its people. It is a shame that the last act stumbles slightly as the steam starts to run out and the release of tension becomes messier and, at times, more confused than it should. But Will Jewell’s latest is one to be sought out, a thriller that will surprise and enthrall its audience even if it leaves the viewer somewhat disheartened by the state of the world it so accurately captures.