Depravity at the heart of contemporary England.
Nov 5, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 08 • By KYLE SMITH
It’s a scene right out of London Fields, in which Keith Talent undergoes similar torment when challenging a restaurant to make a curry so hot he can’t eat it. But Lionel Asbo is building to a genuinely unnerving scene that negates Lionel’s attempted development and is (unlike the lightly handled incest at the beginning) painted in tones of suspense, and even horror, rather than silliness.
A sick joke can be funny, but only if it doesn’t invite or allow too much genuine feeling for its characters. Lionel Asbo is an uneasy, and at times unsatisfying, mix: too outrageous to be taken in earnest, but also too human to be purely comic.
Kyle Smith is a movie critic for the New York Post.