March 11, 2019  (Web Review)

London Fields

Fox, 107 min., R, DVD: $29.99, Mar. 12

Reviewer rating: 1.0/4

Martin Amis’s 1989 international bestseller begins: “This is the story of a murder. It hasn’t happened yet. But it will.” Although novelist Amis receives co-writing credit along with Roberta Hanley, responsibility for this ugly, incoherent debacle rests with director Mathew Cullen, who obviously hasn’t a clue about how to adapt this mystery about a beautiful young woman who foresees her own death and hires a writer to document it. In London, circa 1999, femme fatale Nicola Six (Amber Heard) is involved with three men: Guy Clinch (Theo James), a wealthy banker; Keith Talent (Jim Sturgess), a petty criminal; and Samson Young (Billy Bob Thornton), an American author—also serving as narrator—who has swapped apartments with British writer Mark Asprey (Jason Isaacs). One of her suitors will kill Nicola, although his identity is not revealed until the film’s climax. Johnny Depp (Heard’s husband-at-the-time) appears in an uncredited cameo as Chick Purchase, a facially-scarred gangland boss/darts-throwing champion. Best known for his Katy Perry “California Girls” music video, director Cullen openly agrees with the film’s negative reviews. What happened? Made in 2015, the $8 million production was plagued with legal disputes and during its brief theatrical release reportedly earned only $169,000. A bizarre cinematic disaster, this is not recommended. (S. Granger)