Director: Destiny Ekaragha
Stars: Malachi Kirby, O.C Ukeje, Shanika Warren Markland, Adelayo Adedayo
Running time: 86 minutes
Release Date: 10th October 2014
Incredibly hilarious, but also nostalgic
Life is relatively normal for Peckham teenager Yemi, until his long lost brother Ikudaysi comes to stay, along with his out of place fashion sense and African mannerisms. Their mother sends the two of them outside to go and buy from okra from the Fruit and Veg market. From there, a wild, embarrassing and even enlightening adventure around Peckham begins…
First off, the question must be asked: Is Gone Too Far funny? And it most certainly is. Africans and perhaps even those from the Caribbean will have no trouble understanding the context between the jokes: The overbearing African mother with the sharp tongue, mixing Yoruba phrases with English sentences, and also the so-called gangster culture that was so widespread back in the 2000s among British youths.
The comedic quality is not only on point, but also highly relatable as. A lot of people living in Britain, particularly black youths can remember growing up with these struggles and quirks, in terms of family, friends, street reputation and more. But fortunately, the film doesn’t try and make it too authentic and grim, it keeps the over the top, light-hearted tone.
Nearly every scene, no matter how serious, silly or empty always has at least two laughable moments that just seamlessly fit in. Every time O.C. Ukeje is on screen hamming it up as the good-natured but hapless Nigerian tourist is a wonderful sight to behold. Everyone plays their roles well, from the almost hopeless Yemi, to the shallow but calculating Armani, but it is Ikudaysi that effortlessly stands out the most.
In essence, the film has a very familiar feel to it, perhaps even nostalgic. If you remember watching the likes of Phoneshop and Adulthood, there are the same tones of the chavvy but still charming London environment. To me, Gone Too Far can boast one of the best introductions to date. You see a young black boy on a bike. He stops at a blank wall and brings out a spray can. And, you think that you know what’s coming but the real outcome just takes you completely by surprise.
There are few criticisms I can bring up about this film, but one in particular is that the tone can be inconsistent at times. There are moments where you can feel the seriousness of a scene, but there are still funny moments, so it’s easy to become confused as to whether you want to laugh, cry or just stay silent and listen. Also there are moments where characters can become completely detestable, regardless of the situation they find themselves in. Even so, at least some of them redeem themselves by the end of the film.
I give this my first five out of five, simply because it kept me in a laughing mood throughout the whole course of the film. If you want a perfect example of a film low on budget but high on talent, Gone Too Far has you covered.