No matter what he goes on to star in from here, to a lot of people Orlando
Bloom is likely to forever be Legolas of "Lord of the Rings" fame. It was his
breakthrough role and surely the opportunity of a lifetime -- for which Bloom
was hired days before he even graduated London's Guildhall drama school --
and it is quite something to measure the rest of his career against. And so
far, Bloom has done little to show off his versatility with roles in the
equally costume-laden "Pirates of the Caribbean" and the upcoming "Troy."
But all that is about to change, thanks to British indie "The Calcium Kid" (IMDb listing) in
which Bloom takes on the title role of Jimmy "The Calcium Kid" Connelly, a
milkman from South London.
A quirky, off-the-wall mockumentary comedy (yes, there is such as thing, in
Britain at least) that will have you laughing out loud, this feature debut
from writer/director Alex Rakoff has a lot to offer to those who enjoy good
cinema; a well-rounded story, terrific acting from a fabulous cast, great
comedic timing and loads of priceless British humor.
Jimmy Connelly (Bloom) really loves his job. A milkman for Express Milk
Dairies, he approaches his daily tour of South London with plenty of enthusiasm. His ambition is to one day become a regional manager for the
company. But then a sparring match at the local gym, where he is an amateur
boxer, changes everything when Jimmy, quite accidentally and courtesy of his
calcium-hardened bones, puts Pete Wright (former boxer Tamer Hassan),
Britain's contender for the World Champion title, out of commission. For
lack of suitable replacements, Jimmy suddenly finds himself touted as
Britain's great boxing hope and thrust onto the world stage to face current
champion Jose Mendez (Michael Pena) in a fight for the title and, quite
possibly, his life.
Calcium Kid is based on the script of a short written by Scots Raymond Friel
and Derek Boyle, and Rakoff, South-London born and bred, took the story out
of its Glaswegian setting and based it on his home turf for a more personal
experience. It works stupendously well.
A simple story with eccentric characters and a lot of heart, the acting,
direction, and inspiring cinematography come together perfectly for 94
minutes of great entertainment. With Pena and Michael Lerner as his agent
Artie Cohen admirably covering the American end of things, Bloom, acclaimed
stand-up comedian Omid Djalili as self-appointed boxing promoter Herbie
Bush, promising talent Rafe Spall as best mate Stan, and the obligatory
British starlet Billie Piper as Angel, do British cinema proud.
Filmfodder Grade: A