REVIEW: Schemers keeps up cinema's dismal run

Schemers (15), (91 mins), Cineworld Cinemas

Scottish promoter Dave Mclean is both co-writer and director for this big-screen retelling of his own early, seat-of-the-pants days in the music business.

And maybe that’s one of the reasons it really doesn’t spark.

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It’s perfectly watchable, but like so many of the releases of recent weeks, we are in the League One of new movies. A couple – Unhinged and The Broken Hearts Gallery – have probably been Championship; but there’s been virtually nothing you’d count as Premiership.

Where have the decent films gone? Cinema needs them now.

What the pandemic started, it looks like the film distributors are going to finish off.

Schemers this week is distinctly third tier mid-table.

Conor Berry brings a degree of charisma to the young Davie whose football hopes are destroyed in a revenge attack when he gets in the wrong bed.

Instead, he falls back on putting on gigs, with clearly not a clue how to do it, helped with varying degrees of willingness by his mates Scot (Sean Connor) and John (Grant Robert Keelan).

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In truth, John is the only one you really warm to – because it is John who is dragged into taking the biggest financial risks, the least ambitious of the three and yet clearly the one with the most to lose.

In the background, the three of them are at the mercy of the local “McMafia” and really this is pretty seedy stuff. There is a smattering of knowing jokes (“Simple Minds? They are going to have to change that name!”), but the limited humour doesn’t ride above the whole thing’s lack of appeal.

You don’t actually find yourself rooting for Davie to make it big; and the make-or-break Iron Maiden gig, which the film builds up to, is hardly the climax it needs. Maybe worst of all, you feel this film could and should have made so much more of the music.

Whatever you think of it, it really doesn’t seem the kind of film that cinema needs right now.

Sitting in a mask with just two other people in the semi-darkness watching a film as average as this really does make you fear for the future.

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