We must say that we have a certain soft spot for hardboiled British crime thrillers (everything from "The Long Good Friday" to "RockNRolla"), so it's not going to take a lot to sway us to the particular charms of "Wasteland," the debut feature from writer/director Rowan Athale, which is set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival tonight. (You guys have your tickets?) The trailer, which predominantly features lead Luke Treadaway (from "Attack the Block") along with "Harry Potter" star Matt Lewis (yep, that's Neville Longbottom...), "Misfits"' Iwan Rheon, and U.K. "Shameless" star Gerard Kearns, seems to have enough energy and wit to set it apart from the post-Guy Ritchie clones out there. We hope, at least.
While the trailer opens with Treadaway all bruised and beaten and in the custody of a very stern-looking Timothy Spall, and there promises to be some level of violence in the mix, what is so heartening is that it has a more jovial, "Bottle Rocket"-type vibe for most of the trailer. Treadaway has just gotten out of prison, and like most characters in movies who have just gotten out of prison, decides to start planning an elaborate heist almost immediately. He enlists his goofy buddies to assist, and they start planning to rip off sinister looking Neil Maskell, which anyone who saw the actor in "Kill List" could probably tell you is a bad idea.
The official description we got seems to give away an awful lot of the plot, so we kind of scanned it but considering the tagline on the poster is "Revenge is a wild kind of heist," there is an element of personal vendetta in the story, which should also make it more watchable than a bunch of fuck-ups robbing somebody. Also, the lead girl, Vanessa Kirby, looks super appealing, though we've never seen her anything before (she was in BBC dramas "The Hour" and "Great Expectations").
"Wasteland" doesn't have a domestic distribution plan yet, but we're betting that by the end of TIFF there will be one in place (they're screening it a billion times).