Writer: Darren Bolton (Screenplay)
Starring: Simon Cassidy, Millie Reeves, Moir Leslie, Johnny Vivash, Joe Evans, Sarah Longworth, Ann Queensberry
Plot: Small Town Hero is a dark and comical drama set in an idyllic rural town in England. It follows the story of ‘Pep’ who becomes a local hero after taking the law into his own hands to prevent a crime. Relishing in his new found glory, Pep joins the neighbourhood watch to further his agenda and fulfil his dream of creating a utopia; a town free of crime and antisocial behaviour. Before long, the extremity of Pep’s measures and his aggressive and violent approach to achieving his goals becomes unacceptable to the local community and he is shunned. Desperate to regain his hero status, the rumour of a paedophile gives Pep one last chance to save the day; a manhunt ensues.
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Hard Hitting
Story: Small Town Hero starts when local man Pep (Cassidy) gets involved in protecting a small shop from yobs, it doesn’t take long before his story makes him the talk of the community, leading to him being offered a role in the neighbourhood watch. Pep still wants to play his same role in the neighbourhood with a documentary film crew following him as he goes on the hunt for a recently released paedophile.
As Pep continues his aggressive tactics, he starts to push the neighbourhood watch away from him with the leader Sal (Leslie) having to make the difficult decisions, we are left to see his Pep will go too far or be able to bring the safety he desires to his community.
Thoughts on Small Town Hero
Characters – Pep wants to clean up his neighbourhood, he is aggressive in his tactics, but he is effective, striking fear into the residents, the crime rates have gone down, while the complaints against him have gone up. He must start reflecting on his actions because he is could lose everything. Pep is a highly unlikable person that has been holding in his own problems for far too long. Becky is the ex of Pep, she is raising their kid while moving on with her own life, she is scared of his aggressive actions and is getting worried about their son. Sal runs the neighbourhood watch and sees how Pep is going off the friendly ways the watch is meant to be following. Patrick is one of the locals that Pep decides is the paedophile, he is getting tired of the harassment that Pep is giving him.
Performances – Simon Cassidy is easily the star of the film, sure you will hate his performance early on, but you will see how his arc comes through the film, through his angry performance. Johnny Vivash is strong through the film too as we see how somebody being harassed will react. Millie Reeves and Moir Leslie complete the main cast well through the film.
Story – The story follows one man in a small village that wants to clean up the streets, he goes above the law at times, while holding back from going too far, he ends up striking fear into the neighbourhood. This does dive to the vigilante style story asking the question about how you feel about your neighbourhood and whether you would clean up the yob like behaviour. The story does get deeper because we see how Pep can balance the fine line between legal and illegal activities as he must learn what is right or wrong through the film, seeing how the locals react to his actions in the documentary style this story is shot in.
Settings – The film is set in one small village, it is a location where everybody knows everybody which shows how people will react to Pep’s actions.
Final Thoughts – This is a hard hitting drama that shows the fine line in vigilante behaviour and see how people could go over the line.
Overall: The Reality of vigilante behaviour.