Irish youth Neal (Darren Healy) is a foul-mouthed, doesn't-give-a-fuck hardnut who we first meet beating the shit out of a fellow jailmate. On his release, he lands himself in trouble for trying to force his way into his ex-girlfriend's flat to glimpse the son he's never seen, then spends his time running from the police, causing mayhem with his gang and riding a horse. Yep, he rides a horse. Neal and his mates are like urban cowboys, cavorting through Dublin like so many wannabe Clint Eastwoods.
It's an unusual concept, and one that Crush Proof pulls off with surprising success. Paul Tickell's debut feature is hard-hitting, aggressive and often sickeningly violent, and the young cast (in particular the charismatic Healy) are all superb. With its edgy editing, stream of bad language and heavy Irish accents, it's unlikely to pull in a mainstream audience (nor does it set out to do so), but is still an impressive and original drama.
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