Rent Twin Town (1997)

3.5 of 5 from 93 ratings
1h 35min
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Bryn Cartwright (William Thoma), a wealthy roofing contractor, Rugby Club Chairman and local kingpin rules the roost until Fatty Lewis (Huw Ceredig), a local handyman, falls off a ladder on a Cartwright job. Bryn refuses to pay compensation. The twins, Fatty's wayward sons, devise a wickedly comic way of getting even and Bryn ends up paying dearly. Representing the thin blue line of the Law are Terry (Dougray Scott) and Greyo (Dorien Thomas), two local policemen who employ their own dubious peacekeeping methods as events spiral out of control.
, , , , , , , , , , Paul Durden, , , ,
Peter McAleese
Kevin Allen, Paul Durden
Universal Pictures
Release Date:
Run Time:
95 minutes
English Dolby Digital 2.0
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Release Date:
Run Time:
100 minutes
English LPCM Stereo
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
BLU-RAY Regions:
  • Interview with Morgan Hopkins
  • Interview with Mark Thomas (Music Composer)
  • Commentary with Morgan Hopkins and Gary Slaymaker

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Reviews (1) of Twin Town

Not made by the Swansea Tourist Board - Twin Town review by Strovey

Spoiler Alert

Unfairly billed as the Welsh version of Train Spotting, the brothers are wastrel drug users, Twin Town was the creation of Keith Allen’s brother Kevin and writer Paul Durden. As such you see the Comic Strip Presents influence in the story, it starts out darkly comic and gets darker and darker as we proceed. No one is nice and you cannot really root for anyone, but the skill of the writing is that somehow you do not dislike the highly dysfunctional Lewis family that spawned the ‘twins’ Jeremy and Julian, played by real brother Llyfr and Rhys Ifans, the start of a long successful film career Rhys.

As such the film seems to be trying to set up the brothers as delinquent thieves who make bongs out of anything but are to all intents and purpose harmless. It is glorious deceit as they hang about in the ratty caravan site next to a stinking eyesore of an industrial works, with their workshy dad, ‘Fatty’ and fussy sex-worker sister Adie and the mainstay in the family mum, Jean. On the more serious and criminal side we have two ‘bent’ coppers, the late Dorien Thomas world-weary and small-time and the ambitious, psychopathic Scotsman Terry Walsh, played with relish and straight as a bat by the always impressive Doug Ray Scott.

Without detailing the plot and spoiling the film for those that may have not viewed it, Twin Town was made in 1997, the tale does not go in the direction that you might expect. For some, this will be tonally deaf, and I can understand why you might think like that, but Allen’s direction and writing (with Durden) is clever enough to slip this past you slowly so that it does not jar. For me, despite the ending seeming a bit rushed and tied up neatly, it works.

Swansea is shown in all its glorious late nineties ‘wild-west-a-like’ it looks grimy, gritty and a dirty old town. The acting is naturalistic without too many overwrought actorly scenes, the Ifans brothers genuinely seem like the type of skinny idiots that we have all known over the years and the three many ‘baddies’ are not pantomime stereotypes. Scott writes large but in fairness, he needs to within the tale.

William Thomas is scarily good as the whole linchpin to the story Bryn Cartwright and throughout the film as unpleasant as any villain you will see, culminating in a realistic and very unpleasant scene of violence, that with the benefit of hindsight should have been seriously tempered when the film was made although by this point we are in the darkest midnight phase of the film.

The supporting actors are all main-stay Welsh actors including the now long-gone side-burned Brian Hibbard late of The Flying Pickets if you remember them, and he and all the supporting cast give good realistic performances.

This is the film’s strength, the story itself is slight and gets very unpleasant as it runs. Twin Town is a unique turn on the dark crime comedy genre that does not tick all the boxes on violence, language and drug use that you expect but it also turns off the highway and goes down some windy roads you are not expecting now and them.

Overall, for a film that is twenty-four years old (at the time of this opinion piece) there is more to like than not. It holds up well and helped to launch the careers of Rhys Ifans and Doug Ray Scott as well as highlight a lot of fine Welsh character actors who might have never been seen by a wider audience at the time.

You would not want to be friends with anyone in this film but spending an hour or so in their company is certainly okay.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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