Noel Clarke has made himself into a bit of a brand. Writer, director, producer, actor, fine tweeter. He’s a ubiquitous man and I’m sure that a lot of people resent him for that and hope that he falls flat on his face every time they see him in another movie. That seems to be the way in which people react to individuals who have focused their time and energy into making themselves very successful. I like him a lot. In a world that increasingly rewards people for taking the easy option or getting themselves on to some talent show or other, Clarke has got where he is today with a mixture of hard work and talent, qualities sadly lacking in so many other people in various sectors of the entertainment industry.
Storage 24 is written by, produced by, and stars Noel Clarke. Sadly, despite my appreciation of the guy, it’s not great. Oh, it’s not awful but there are too many things that stop it from risiing above average. Perhaps that’s due to director Johannes Roberts but I think it’s more to do with the cliche-ridden material and the way it fails to rise above its obvious small scale.
The story concerns Charlie (Clarke), a man heartbroken after his girlfriend, Shelley (Antonia Campbell-Hughes), has called time on their relationship and won’t consider giving things another go. With no reconciliation likely, Charlie is heading to the storage facility where their possessions are being held for the time being. He takes his friend Mark (Colin O’Donoghue) for support. When they get to the storage room, Shelley is already there with two friends, Nikki (Laura Haddock) and Chris (Jamie Thomas King), and the mood is tense. Of course, the mood gets more tense when the group find themselves locked in with a dangerous alien running around the storage facility.
Storage 24 is fun. It doesn’t set out to change the landscape of cinema and it doesn’t need to. Sadly, it doesn’t quite deliver all that it could but it does enough to be a relatively amusing diversion and sometimes that’s all you need.
Director Johannes Roberts does an okay job and the script isn’t laughable, though it could certainly be a lot better, but the cast help to make this into a fun experience. Clarke, especially, is as good as he usually is while Colin O’Donoghue also does well. Antonia Campbell-Hughes plays someone that viewers may find it hard to believe ever deserved Charlie but that’s okay because, well, she doesn’t have him. Jamie Thomas King does okay while Laura Haddock quickly becomes someone you root for. Ned Dennehy plays an eccentric gentleman who is also in the storage facility, for very different reasons, and Geoff Bell has a small, but enjoyable, role as an engineer trying to fix the security system so that shutters will rise up again and people can actually get out.
The special effects are sometimes good and sometimes not so good but, overall, the alien at least looks like a threatening creature you wouldn’t want to meet in a locked down storage facility on a dark night so that’s a good thing. It’s just a shame that but the big finale it’s hard to worry about the creature or care about most of the characters, for some reason. Maybe I am getting heartless in my old age but I was hoping that Clarke’s character would just leave one or two people to their fate. Excuse my bad thoughts.
Although it does better than many of the lazier movies of this kind there’s also no getting away from the fact that a lot of the movie involves people running along corridors and then hiding in a room before . . . . . . . running along some more corridors to get to another room. Repeatedly. I guess this is a problem that’s difficult to avoid, given the premise, but it does make the film a bit boring in places as you watch the events occur onscreen and start to get that feeling of deja vu.
There will, no doubt, be a few people who love Storage 24 because they’re huge fans of Noel Clarke and/or some of the other cast members. There will also, no doubt, be a number of people who hate Storage 24 and go out of their way to shout from the rooftops (translation = internet forums) about their dislike of it. I fall slap bang in the middle of the two. I kind of liked it but there was an awful lot in the movie that was working hard to get me to dislike it.
Storage 24 comes out of containment on Monday 29th October here in the UK. The DVD contains a number of deleted scenes, featurettes and an enjoyable audio commentary with Noel Clarke and Johannes Roberts. The Blu-ray, as is becoming increasingly common, has all of this and more. Either disc provides you with a nice package of supplementary material.
DIRECTOR: JOHANNES ROBERTS
WRITER: NOEL CLARKE, DAVIE FAIRBANKS, MARC SMALL
STARS: NOEL CLARKE, ANTONIA CAMPBELL-HUGHES, COLIN O’DONOGHUE, LAURA HADDOCK, JAMIE THOMAS KING, NED DENNEHY, GEOFF BELL
RUNTIME: 87 MINS APPROX