News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Feb. 16, 2018: British-born, African-roots actor turned director, Idris Elba’s ‘Yardie’ film opened at the Sundance Film festival to poor reviews.
The film is about a younger brother taking revenge for his older brother’s gang killing in Kingston, Jamaica. In the movie, Jerry Dread, played by Jamaican actor Everaldo Creary, stops the music at an outdoor party to encourage a truce between warring gangs. But as his little brother Denis looks on from the crowd, an assassin’s bullet rings out, taking Jerry’s life.
A decade later, Denis, played by Aml Ameen, is the right-hand man to gang-boss Fox, who sends him on a loyalty-testing mission to London. But when the mission goes wrong, Denis hides out with an old flame and decides to find his brother’s killer.
Guardian reviewer Jordan Hoffman gave it two stars while it got only one Rotten Tomatoes.
“Despite flashes of brilliance the crime drama, set in Jamaica and the UK, has a plodding narrative and lacks emotional resonance,” Hoffman wrote, while on Rotten Tomatoes says: “Yardie has the right look, the right sound and the right moves to play with the bigger boys of its genre; like its young, scrappy but naive hero, however, there’s not quite enough power behind its posturing.”
The film was Elba’s first directorial debut and was an adaptation of the 1992 Victor Headley novel, ‘Yardie,’ about the collision of Jamaican culture in London.
Casting and some filming was done in Jamaica. It also features Jamaican newcomers Shantol Jackson and Sheldon Shepherd.
The film is produced by Robin Gutch and Gina Carter for Warp Films. It is co-financed by Studiocanal, the BFI, BBC Films and Screen Yorkshire. Universal Music is also a partner in the film, with its Island Records label set to release the soundtrack.