A bike courier heavily involved in the underground illegal push-bike racing scene of London stumbles upon what looks like a murder. He flees he scene of the crime but he was there long enough to record the face of the politician whom appears to be the murderer. The unwitting cyclist gets himself and his friends caught up in a web of lies and blackmail will anyone be able to get to the bottom of the mystery before it’s too late.
Alleycats has the distinction of being a very low budget project (around 750,000) that visually looks incredibly slick and professional. Aesthetically Alleycats is a streamlined and occasionally very stylish piece of work that is occasionally let down by some less slick sound work. But especially the action sequences really echo chase scenes from the first few Bourne movies – if on a smaller scale. There is one shot in particular at the end of one such chase sequence that has more impact on the viewer than anything I saw in the recent Jason Bourne.
It’s always a worry with low budget movies – especially British ones – that the acting will let it down, but on the whole the performances are really strong here. There are a few notable exceptions to this such as a particularly wooden hitman (Virgile Bramly) whom appears to have been forced into doing a French accent that he is completely uncomfortable with, but the key roles of the politician antagonist (John Hannah) and the protagonist (Elanor Tomlinson) are very strong.
The plot itself occasionally verges on becoming too linear and thus a little uninteresting, especially towards the end, but for me there were enough little twists to keep me going throughout. The clichés it does indulge in – the unstoppable foreign hitman badass is a-coming to getcha – happen to be guilty pleasures of mine anyway.
Overall, Alleycats punches well above its weight in terms of budget and for my money is a better movie than Jason Bourne. It’s a very decent thriller elevated to something a little more by one of the most brutal shots I have ever experienced – if you’ve seen it you know what I mean.