Will Proudfoot (Bill Milner) and Lee Carter (Will Poulter) first meet in the school corridor one day when neither is in class. Lee is there because he's a young hooligan who's been thrown out of the classroom. Will is there because his science class is watching a documentary videotape, and his ultra-conservative religious persuasion—Plymouth Brethren—doesn't permit him to watch movies or television. The next day they're both out in the same corridor again, for the same reasons.

There's a Darwinian ruthlessness in the events that follow as Lee remorselessly bullies, cons and domineers Will, who's so sheltered and isolated (turns out fish in a barrel are easier to shoot) that he doesn't even understand that he's being abused, and before long Will comes to regard Lee as a friend. Yet the two boys have more in common than first appears, and zero-sum attrition is ultimately not the final word on their relationship.

After making his feature debut with the rather inspiration-challenged big-screen Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, director Garth Jennings wisely shifts to a more intimate and personal canvas with Son of Rambow, a quirky British indie, set in the early 1980s, that made a splash at Sundance. Although somewhat scattered and uneven, Rambow has enough heart and wit to sustain its 96-minute running time.

Both Will and Lee live inside their heads, and seek creative outlet in image making. Lee's inner world is populated by mainstream culture images and icons, such as Sly Stallone's hero John Rambo in First Blood, which Lee pirates with a clunky camcorder at a theater screening. Will, of course, has never experienced anything like that, but at Lee's house he has an electrifying encounter with those contraband images ...

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Son of Rambow
Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
 
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Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (some violence and reckless behavior)
Genre
Directed By
Garth Jennings
Run Time
1 hour 36 minutes
Cast
Neil Dudgeon, Bill Milner, Jessica Hynes, Anna Wing
Theatre Release
May 23, 2008 by Paramount Vantage
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