It’s Michael’s (Scot Williams) birthday, and all he wants to do is spend his day in the quiet company of his other half. So needless to say he’s hardly enthused when a collective of former associates kidnap him as a part of birthday surprise. It doesn’t end there either- as Michael inadvertently and unwittingly gets caught up in a heist, only to realise he’s been set up, just to be used as a getaway driver. His so-called friends Johnny (Gil Darnell), Ben (Anthony Strachan) and Tim (Oliver Jackson) were robbing the notorious crime lord Golden Pole (Vinnie Jones) during a game of cards, and intend of spending the stolen money to move to Malaysia and start afresh. However they only get as far as Lithuania, and it seems Golden Pole is aware of their location, as an intense game of cat and mouse transpires, all while Michael just wants to get home and spend the evening with his missus.
Redirection is popular filmmaker Belyvis’ first deviation into the English language, and is very much a foreigners take on British culture. In Golden Pole’s office he has pictures of the Queen’s Guard, because, you know, we all own those posters. Only thing missing is a “keep calm and carry on” mug. This picture can be excused as it’s playing on stereotypes to adhere to an audience in the director’s home nation, and such an approach doesn’t feel too out of place for Velyvis either, as the picture revels in frivolity and irreverence, heavily overstating situations for comic effect, almost taking place in this fantasy land that doesn’t really exist – allowing him the license to deviate away from reality somewhat and not worry too much about authenticity.
Wearing it’s Guy Ritchie influences like a badge of honour, there are so many similarities to the likes of Lock Stock, Snatch and RocknRolla, but again, while in many situations this would be of great detriment, the almost parody-like feel to this lets the director off the hook, while the playful, self-deprecating comedy in regards to Lithuania (“Lith-u-fuckin-wot?”) serves a similar purpose. For that very reason, Velyvis can be excused for perpetuating the stereotype of generic, Eastern European antagonists, which you’d think he may have attempted to rectify. But what can’t be accused, however, even in a film that thrives on overstatement, is how bad some of the acting performances are. To call them melodramatic would be something of an understatement. Darnell’s Johnny may have been made up to look like Eminem, but acts like he’s in Emmerdale.
Growing so absurd it delves into the realm of tedium, Redirected is still not one to be taken at face value, as despite the gangster tendencies, this is best described as a farcical comedy. That’s most evident in how this pieces itself together very much in the same vein as The Hangover, or Dude, Where’s My Car?. Which just about sums this title up, as an amalgamation of so many different films that came before it, with so little creativity and innovation involved, that even at points where you’re enjoying this title, you know fully well it’s been done before, and to be frank, it’s been done a lot better, too.