Curfew is a new drama which felt from the trailer like it was being a remake of Death Race 2000, and it feels like so many people are driving trucks like Mick Jagger did in Freejack, which should put this drama’s timeline in 2009… but I doubt it is.
It’s also aiming for a Blade Runner-style feel where everyone’s business and houses all have shutters aplenty on their windows, and as the evening comes and the curfew kicks in – thanks to a mysterious virus that’s causing all sorts of problems, so those shutters come down, since it’s a lawless time and the police are more trigger-happy than a Los Angeles donut-muncher on a busy day.
There’s also elements which make this film like ‘Freejack meets zombies’, and if you haven’t seen Freejack, you really should. Then add zombies. And what happens when zombies meet people? Yes, you know. But as this happened, it felt like it was taking the programme a world away from how it’s meant to be just about illegal street races during curfew time, the prize for the winner being to escape from being under a curfew altogether.
The trailer made it look like endless action, but based on these first two episodes, it’s mostly build-up and I’m waiting for the great leap forward. Without giving spoilers, the first episode cuts back and forth between now and five years earlier when one of the characters had suffered a severe accident and had put themselves in a wheelchair, and was trying to (hopefully) learn to walk again; but just as the race is about to begin… it ends, and then the second episode gives us more back story, and the race starts to get underway around 11 minutes in. Just give us the action we were promised! And even when it does get going… it sometimes pauses the race and gives us more retrospective plot.
If the backstory had some gravitas to the plot, I could understand it, but I’m certainly not feeling that so far.
On the plus side, this series has got a great cast with Phoebe Fox (Blue Iguana), Aimee-Ffion Edwards (Detectorists), Harriet Walter (Black Earth Rising), Adrian Lester (Trauma), Billy Zane (Titanic, and the forthcoming Waltzing With Brando where he plays Marlon Brando, himself) and Sean Bean (everything, but most recently seen in Hitman 2!)
Oh, and The Terminator‘s Michael Biehn pops up as a grizzled partaker in the game, but when we hear him speak, he sounds more like he’s wittering and drunk.
However, I do know from the many times I spent playing Midtown Madness 3 on the original Xbox that the best vehicle to drive in any race is a bus!
Curfew has been shot with a theatrical widescreen aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1, and that leads me to think that in the end, this feels like it would be best served as a 90-minute movie, not drawn out over an eight-episode series, and I think after two episodes, I’m hitting the brakes… unless I hear things improve dramatically over the next episode or two.
I initially thought this would be the kind of thing people would like to binge-watch on the entire series once it begins, since binge-watching is an essential these days, but that doesn’t appear to be an option.
Curfew begins this Friday on Sky One at 9pm, NOW TV and on demand, with new episodes every Friday. The series is available to pre-order on DVD, ahead of its release on May 13th.
Actually, in a more accurate way, the first episode premieres at 2am on that day. Sally4Ever also did this. I guess it’s so they can have the series on demand to watch during the first day, rather than having to wait until evening.
Episode 1 Score: 5/10
Episode 2 Score: 3/10
Series Directors: Colm McCarthy, Christopher Smith
Producer: Mat Chaplin
Writers: Ben Hervey, John Jackson, Matthew Read
Music: Magnus Fiennes, Amon Tobin
Kaye Newman: Phoebe Fox
Ruby Newman: Aimee-Ffion Edwards
Helen Newman: Harriet Walter
The General: Sean Bean
Roman Donahue: Ike Bennett
Simon Donahue: Adrian Lester
Jenny Donahue: Andi Osho
Megan Donahue: Jessye Romeo
Joker Jones: Billy Zane
El Capitano: Jason Thorpe
Cheese: Guz Khan
Roadkill Jim: Michael Biehn
Grieves: Robert Glenister
Sebastian Underhill: Peter Sullivan
Michael Garwick: Malachi Kirby
Hanmei: Thaddea Graham
Faith Palladino: Rose Williams
Kovacks: Richard Riddell
Zane: Elijah Rowen
Max Larssen: Adam Brody
Lou Collins: Miranda Richardson
Linus: Alfie Field
Mook: Joss Carter
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.