Lava review

Two years ago Leicester's Paul Tucker had his play, The Last Yellow, turned into a film. Not to be outdone, Paul's brother Joe has taken the same plot and directed his own version. Both were inspired by the time Joe nearly got a pummelling in a pub from a drunken squaddie for beating his bird at pool. Yellow ended up as a rueful comedy about fantasy and revenge, but Lava is a different kettle of fish - - a bleak, bloody gangster caper which makes Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels look positively restrained and gentle.

The story tells of two losers - - a nerdy shelf-stacker (James Holmes) and his unhinged lodger (Joe Tucker) - - who take revenge on Darrel (Grahame Fox) the thug who left the former's brother Philip (James Holmes) brain-damaged. Some may be drawn to Lava's hectic pace, insane plot twists and the vibrant backdrop offered by the Notting Hill Carnival. But just as many will be repelled by its despicable characters and the way Tucker invites audiences to chortle heartily at senseless violence.

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