Three Day Millionaire review – Grimsby’s cheeky-chappie answer to Guy Ritchie

A laddish Britcom about trawlermen planning a heist while on shore leave has plenty of camaraderie but not enough sense of what’s at stake

“Welcome fuckers, to Grimsby.” That’s fisherman Curly (ex Corrie actor James Burrows), giving it large, talking straight to camera near the start of this laddish British heist comedy. It’s a lairy, offputting scene, and a few too many like it make Three Day Millionaire charmless at times, and difficult to warm to.

Curly is one of the few remaining trawler crew working out of Grimsby, once the world’s biggest fishing port. His plan for a three-day leave on shore is to blow his wages on a marathon binge with his two best mates: bleach-haired amphetamine addict Codge (Michael Kinsey), and gormless Budgie (Sam Glen), who’s only got a job because his mum’s shagging the boss. (Female characters here mostly exist to be shagged.) But bad news awaits Curly on shore. The company is being sold off. Developers are sniffing around the docks with plans for gentrifying the area, which means Curly is heading for the job centre or a zero hours contract selling “overpriced muffins” and “shite coffee”.

At which point, Three Day Millionaire begins to look like The Full Monty or Brassed Off: another bittersweet British comedy about the bottom falling out of industry, leaving communities adrift and male identity in crisis. But this is a more geezerish film, with a bit of Guy Ritchie thrown in. So Curly and his mates get involved in a plot to pull off a big-time robbery that will set them up for life. Which leads to a couple of funny scenes and some genuine moments of camaraderie.

What’s missing is a sense of what’s at stake – we never quite get a feeling for how desperate these men are, and for the most part they feel a bit too familiar from the Britcom playbook. That said, Burrows brings cheeky-chappie warmth to the character of Curly.

• Three Day Millionaire is released on 25 November in UK cinemas and on digital platforms


Cath Clarke

The GuardianTramp

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