Botched (2007)

Directed By: Kit Ryan
Written By: Raymond Friel
  Derek Boyle
Starring: Stephen Dorff
  Jaime Murray
  Sean Pertwee
  David Heap

It’s important to state before I really get to the meat and bones of Botched, that I’m a massive fan of Stephen Dorff, and so I had a little bias going into this film. I loved him Blade, Cecil B Demented, and his frankly brilliant portrayal of Cliff in SFW, so it saddens me to have to say, that i did not enjoy Botched. It was a film that was begging to be saved, and i genuinely thought Mr Dorff was the one to do it.

Dorff plays Ritchie Donovan, a down on his luck professional thief who, on the back of a heist gone tits up, reluctantly accepts another job from Russian (yes I said Russian) mob boss Sean Pertwee. He is charged with retrieving a sacred cross from an office block, and is teamed up with a motley pair of ‘Russian’ gangsters. While on the heist though, things go even more to pot, when all is not what it seems, hostages start losing their heads (literally), and an altogether more supernatural air descends on the movie.

That’s about all I’m willing to give away about the plot, as I’m not entirely sure there was actually much of a plot here. It’s a muddled mess of a movie, that just tries too hard to shock and be funny at the same time.

In terms of casting, Dorff aside, it’s a predominantly English cast, including the lovely Jaime Murray of Hustle and Dexter fame, and the aforementioned Sean Pertwee. One of the gimmicks of the movie, that as far as i’m concerned fell flat on its face is that they all play Russians. I can’t tell if this was supposed to be an in-joke, but it just reminded me of everyone speaking in an Irish accent in Alexander just to humour poor Colin Farrell. Past the first 5 minutes, it just becomes an irritation, and not even the beautiful Murray pulls it off.

The soundtrack is mediocre at best, and had that kind of Oceans Eleven ‘they know something we don’t know’ vibe to it. I was half expecting Jaime Murray to look at the camera, and wink at us a la Hustle. It would have at least fit the mood.

The gore is plentiful, but it’s just not convincing. There’s only so many times you can see people get impaled and lose limbs in various ways before it just becomes dull.

The real big let down to Botched though is its comedy. It just tries too hard. Some films are born for subtlety, and some for balls-to-the-wall buckets of gore. This was trying for the latter, but fell so wide of the mark. It’s this try hard aspect that throughout the entire film, i envisioned a blacked up Robert Downey Jr whispering in my ear “they went full retard, you NEVER go full retard“. Add to this, the fact Dorff plays his role completely deadpan and relatively competently that further makes the rest of the cast a joke.

Botched is a film that tries incredibly hard, but doesn’t deliver on much. The gore, the gimmicks, the story; it’s just not there. I only laughed at a few points and i’m quite sure others will be challenged to take anything away from this film. That’s how best to sum this film up: A challenge to watch, and I don’t think it will be long before Botched is lining the bottom of bargain bins up and down the country.

Rating: ★★★½☆☆☆☆☆☆

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