4.3.2.1 | 4 Girls, 3 Days, 2 Cities, 1 Chance...

This was the official website to roll out the 2010 movie,4.3.2.1. The reviews below are from RottanTomatoes.

Rating: NR
Genre: Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By: Noel Clarke , Mark Davis , Mark Davis
Written By: Noel Clarke
On DVD: Jul 31, 2012
Runtime: 117 minutes
Studio: Unstoppable Entertainment

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TomatoMeter  Critics 34%  | Audience  42%

 

Writer/director Noel Clarke (Kidulthood, Adulthood)newest film is a  frenetic urban thriller following four friends who go their separate ways, but eventually find their fates colliding following a chance meeting with a group of ruthless diamond thieves. Jo (Emma Roberts, Cassandra (Tasmin Egerton), Kerrys (Shanika Warren-Markland) and Shannon (Ophelia Lovibond)  were once inseparable, but lately they've begun to grow apart. As Jo struggles for a sense of direction while earning a meager income in a sterile supermarket, Cassandra races off to New York for a fling with a guy she met online. Militant feminist Kerrys wages an unrelenting war against a male dominated society, while Shannon falls into a treacherous, self-destructive tailspin. Just when it seemed as if these old friends were headed down divergent paths, a brazen crime thrusts them back together for an exhilarating adventure that  proves just how unpredictable life can really be.

REVIEWS Critics

 

June 2, 2010

Cath Clarke |Time Out | Top Critic

These girls are brilliantly un-victimy and always come out fighting. If only they weren't incessantly paraded about in their underwear for the viewing pleasure of men.


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July 30 2012

Kevin Carr |7M Pictures (R)
MOVIE: *1/2 (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR

I can respect any filmmaker that is trying to deliver an original film under staggering odds. In fact, unless you’re one of the anointed few filmmakers that take charge of the massive summer event films, you fall into this category.

BAFTA-winning actor/writer/director Noel Clarke has seen his fair share of in-front-of-the-camera work, but he’s still working on becoming a household name. Most sci-fi fans have seen him in the early years of the “Doctor Who” reboot as Mickey, Rose Tyler’s boyfriend, and he’s had quite a bit of work in Britain.

His latest major piece is “4.3.2.1,” which he wrote and co-directed with Mark Davis. The story follows four London girls who stumble into a jewel heist. The movie is told from each of the four girls’ perspective over a weekend, as the heist intersects with their own personal problems.

Like many films and television shows I’ve seen lately, I admire the ambition. Unfortunately, it’s the execution that fails here. None of the characters are even remotely likeable.

Jo (Emma Roberts) is meant to be a hard-working blue-collar girl, but she’s not very nice to anyone, including her friends. Cassandra (Tamsin Egerton) is the rich girl who travels to New York to lose her virginity to her online boyfriend, but she makes such stupid moves throughout the movie, I just don’t sympathize with her. Kerrys (Shanika Warren-Markland) is a defiant, rebellious lesbian who is ready to get in a fight with anyone who looks at her sideways, a terribly cliched character at best. Finally, there’s Shannon (Ophelia Lovibond), a mopey teen who was coerced into getting an abortion, which yields an awkward and often confused and preachy political element.


There’s an attempt to understand each of the girl’s perspective, but with no likability or sympathy for them, it’s hard to swallow. More over, as the movie tries to weave together this not-quite-so-brilliant-as-they-think-it-is jewel heist sidestory, the film feels like its held together with wet tissue paper and chewing gum. Like the forced abortion storyline with Shannon, this results in back-end preaching about conflict diamonds that only superficially gets mentioned but never gets examined in the slightest.

Clarke does some cool things with the camera, including an innovative way to show the four stories splitting up. However, this feels like a fantasy, trying to tell the story of four girls in what one might consider sexy in a wet dream. And to make the filmmaker fantasy complete, Clarke gives us the most unnecessary and out-of-place bit part by filmmaker Kevin Smith. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around that angle.

The Blu-ray comes with a 20-minute making-of featurette, which answers some of the questions that arise during the film, but sadly it’s a better-directed and more cohesive piece than the film itself.

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July 30, 2012

Jason Best | Movie Talk

The plotting is clumsy, the characterization scraggy and the dialogue clunky- but you can't accuse Clarke of lacking ambition, even if his film does display a yawning gulf between aspiration and accomplishment.

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June 2, 2010

** Nigel Andrews | Financial Times

4.3.2.1 is an undernourished Britflicks, about girls who wanna have fun. In the first, Noel Clarke, blowing his promise as the debut director of Kidulthood, blends youth romp with international thriller. He pinballs four bimbos around two big cities (London, New York) as if trying for some kinetic youth variant on Sex and the City. Watching the animated inertia that results is like being stuck in a waiting room with a pile of Time Out travel supplements.


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June 3, 2010

Tim Robey | Daily Telegraph (UK)

There’s almost nothing kind to be said about 4.3.2.1, in which Noel Clarke supposedly addresses the charge that his earlier films (Kidulthood, Adulthood) had no decent parts for women.

Neither does this, which is bad news for Emma Roberts, Tamsin Egerton, Ophelia Lovibond and Shanika Warren-Markland, who play the four main characters.

These absurd friends part ways at the Westfield shopping centre one day and have four ridiculous, intersecting adventures involving Liberian blood diamonds, supermarket robbery, internet dating fraud, Ben Shephard reporting breaking news from Antwerp, a bit of lesbian sex for the lads, and how well-endowed Noel Clarke must be, as a villain called Tee.

There’s a touch of Pulp Fiction, a touch more of Doug Liman’s Go, and a whole lot of facile craft, cameos for famous chums (Kevin Smith, Eve), and show-offy posturing without any direction or point.

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August 19, 2010

Jake Wilson | The Age (Australia)

WRITTEN and co-directed by former Doctor Who sidekick Noel Clarke, 4.3.2.1. is the kind of entertainingly bad movie that should have been made in the late 1990s, the last time filmmakers could hope to look edgy by depending on dirty-neon cinematography, nonlinear storytelling and ''girl-power'' sentiments.

Our heroines are a quartet of energetic young women from London: a wrist-slitting emo (Ophelia Lovibond), a virginal pianist (Tamsin Egerton), a bi-racial lesbian (Shanika Warren-Marland) and a sassy Yank (Emma Roberts). All four are Best Friends Forever and models of empowerment, in the sense that they exhibit impressive self-defence skills and chat about vibrators.

In the course of a weekend, they part ways to embark on various solo adventures, reuniting for the action climax. There's an idiotic plot about a bag of stolen diamonds, but crime-fighting proves less of a challenge for the girls than working through more mundane matters with obnoxious or overprotective families.

Among the leads, Warren-Marland and Roberts seem to be having the most fun, though no one can match the impact of Michelle Ryan in a brief appearance as a slinky jewel thief. By design, most of the male characters are pathetic or worse - one of the exceptions is played by Kevin Smith, in a cameo that spoofs his highly publicised battle with a US airline.

It's far from clear what audience Clarke and his co-director Mark Davis are aiming to please with this hectic concoction, especially as the pseudo-feminist message dissolves in a fog of lechery whenever the camera gets near a bedroom.

All the same, it's hard to dislike a film that suggests either a belated sequel to Spice World (1997) or a Guy Ritchie version of The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (2005). I regret to say I enjoyed nearly every minute.


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August 18, 2010

Margaret Pomeranz | At the Movies (Australia)

Rated MA

Review by Margaret Pomeranz

4. 3. 2. 1 is about 4 girls over 3 days in 2 cities with 1 chance. It begins with Shannon - OPHELIA LOVIBOND - tottering on the edge of Westminster Bridge, vodka bottle in one hand and a bunch of diamonds in the other. Three friends screech up in a car. They're Cassandra - TAMSIN EGERTON, Kerrys - SHANIKA WARREN-MARKLAND, and Joanne - EMMA ROBERTS.

Does she jump? Cut back in time to Friday afternoon when the friends are saying goodbye to Cassandra who's off to New York ostensibly to do a music audition but also to catch up with an internet friend she's never met. Things don't go as planned for Cassandra.

There's been a diamond heist and the way they end up with Shannon is partly what the film's about. But meanwhile the feisty Kerrys, hoping to have an uninterrupted couple of days in Cassandra's luxury flat with her girlfriend finds family intruding.

This is pretty much a girl power movie, Tarantino style, with jump cuts, fast cuts, split screens and a lot of lip. And for the most part it's fun, particularly the New York segment. All the girls have problems, father issues, broken homes for which they feel responsible, and blended family issues. But these tend to be worked out with a wave of the hand, the real stuff here is women not being done over by men. The film is the work of writer and co-director Noel Clarke and co-director Mark Davis.

At the beginning I thought I was becoming David Stratton, hating the hand-held camera-work, but it settles down, sort of, and takes you on a roller-coaster ride that maybe lasts just a touch too long.

 

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REVIEWS Audience

 

** ½  Lorenzo von Matterhorn | Super Reviewer

4 Girls, 3 Days, 2 Cities, 1 Chance....." . While Jo (Roberts) is chained down in a dead end supermarket job, her friends are all out on their own separate adventures: Cassandra (Egerton) is jetting off to New York to meet her Internet boyfriend; Kerrys (Warren-Markland) is on a one woman crusade fighting for female liberation and Shannon (Lovibond) is on a one way trip to meet her maker.

From the director of Adulthood comes a shaggy dog story that seems to go on forever: Each girl has her little segment over the same time period before their stories meet up at the end. There are some ingenious touches here and there, but this is certainly a lot less clever than it thinks it is. None of the individual parts rises above the mediocre, and most will bore you before the end with the unpleasant characters and the overuse of street slang. Note to the writer: throwing in gratuitous sex scenes might be a good diversion, but it can't distract us if the plot is poor and the performances aren't up to standard. It's also slightly ironic how this supposed celebration of 'girl power' is probably one of the most sexist films I've seen in it's depiction of women as either dumb bimbos or sex obsessed lesbians. I came home on a Friday evening after a stressful week for myself and my team who do custom development Magento applications for a variety of retail clients. It's been my experience at RTS Labs (where I work) that it can take a lot of work to get a client's custom Magento website functioning smoothly and securely. One particular client, whom I won't name has some particular gnarly issues wh had to unwind before we could even start developing custom apps. All I wanted to do was eat and relax with a mindless movie. My girlfriend had chosen 4.3.2.1 as the evening's entertainment. It's perfectly watchable, but I can't help thinking there were better movies on TV,  Netflix, or GeekTV right now that were more deserving of our time. Oh well.

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** Luke Baldock | Super Reviewer

A generic and immature offering. The film is entertaining, if you can slide aside some terrible performances. It's something a teenager would write after watching Lock,Stock..., Pulp Fiction and GO!. Those fast paced crime films reveled in their daft dialogue, awesome soundtrack choices, and large ensembles. Unfortunately, 4.3.2.1 seems as though nobody read the thing before making it. The huge amount of coincidences do nothing but cheapen the film. As the four stories are revealed, some seem to have nothing to do with anything, while others have so much going on it's impossible to give a fudge. Why did I need to see the story about a girl going to New York, being tricked into sex, etc. I don't know. Other than it opening up some American locales and bizarre Kevin Smith/Mandy Patenkin roles appearances. I don't mind a few "What are the odds?" moments in my movies, but this film is dependent on them. In a true sign of incompetent writing, every time the film hits a dead end, a lucky coincidence kicks the story down the road. If you stick films on and don't intend to think about it ever again, then you should watch this. It can be a bit infuriating for others.

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Dean McKenna | Super Reviewer

The heist happens off screen. The diamonds sparkle for seconds. 4.3.2.1 is as much about a crime, really, as Citizen Kane is about sledding. Yes, it's an effective thriller, but slickly sliced and whip-paced as it is, the movie is powered by character, and that's what makes it work. Co-directing from his own script and co-starring as the nefarious Tee, Noel Clarke provides the same pungent sense of place and people he gave his latest movie council-estate combo. His scope is broader, through, mixing nationalities, classes and motivations. Beyond that, this is a great London movie. One story-strand may take place in the Big Apple, but everything comes home to Big Ben's Town - captured as chaotic, glorious, ugly and sweet.


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