And so the latest chapter of Small British Crime Films We Have Known opens with the usual stock of sweary gangster characters and crafty but noble con-men. Oh, and Nick Moran. Revolving around Jack (Ken Stott), a huckster who finds himself up against it when a simple sting manages to land him in the middle of a Russian slave-smuggling ring, Spivs fails to break any new ground.
Stott does his best, breathing some life into Jack's world-weary frame, but everyone else is using their crime-by-numbers kit. That said, there are some "names" here (particularly Blackball's Paul Kaye) who are unable to manage even that.
What's more, Stott's strong showing just makes this look even more like it belongs on ITV in a Sunday evening drama slot. Chalk up one more UK crim-film that has no place on the big screen and another warning to the industry that it's time to plunder a different genre for inspiration.