There are only 12 hours until clocking off time, and Levi (McClure) chews gum, desperately bored, in a quiet petrol station convenience store, only for Ajay (Panthaki) and Shaan (Akhtar) to liven things up, with the clumsy idea of robbing the place, in a desperate bid to make enough to pay a debt owed to a handful of Russian gangsters. After taking the staff hostage, they realise the safe won’t open until 6:00am. So with their lives on the line, they decide they must work there all night to avoid anyone raising the alarm before they get access to their money. However, as they struggle to deal with the feisty Levi – not to mention the variety of odd characters that frequent the store through the night; the pair come to terms with the fact they are either going to be arrested by the police or killed by the Russians.
It’s encouraging to know that this film was produced on such a meagre budget, but you can only get far if you have the right premise – which is where this film triumphs. With the release coinciding with the finale of McClure extraordinary drama This is England 90, here’s a chance to see what else she’s capable of, as her dry comedic timing sparks well with Panthaki and Akhtar. Her character of Levi is so cunning, with her psychological tactics to make the feeble minded Shaan more assertive against the dominant Ajay, with a plan to cause a rift and overpower them both. The supporting cast impresses too, with cameos from the likes of Verne Troyer and Anthony Head standing out, and adding a sense of comedy and pathos, respectively.
Convenience’ is funny, action-packed and sentimental, with a Reservoir Dogs homage that accentuates truly fun filmmaking, complete with the BAFTA winning talent of both McClure and Panthaki -who have both ensured their efforts have turned a small film into something so very big.