Three Day Millionaire
by Daniel Baldwin
What would you do if, after being handed a big paycheck, you found out that it might be your last? That your bosses had conspired to do away with your job? If you’re a character in the latest film from Jack Spring (Destination Dewsbury), you’d find yourself in a British heist comedy!
Three Day Millionaire follows a gaggle of “Trawler-men” from the port town of Grimsby, England as they come ashore to have themselves a good time with their latest hefty batch of wages, only to find themselves in a bit of a pickle. Their world is about to move on without them, leaving them with only hope and desperate measures. It’s a tale as old as time: the smalltown little guy versus the unflinching, uncaring machine that is corporate “progress” and greed.
Director/producer Spring takes this premise and fashions a dark comedy around it, imbuing the all-too-familiar plight of the working man with all the British crime comedy tropes that we have come to love throughout the decades. As well as a few that maybe should have been allowed to die off. The resulting concoction presents itself as a smaller, more regional riff on the works of Guy Ritchie, Danny Boyle, and Edgar Wright.
The good news is that this is filled with a lot of personality, which can go a very long way in films of this type. The bad news is that sometimes it goes a bit too far into pastiche, particularly when it comes to the freeze-framed “character bio” introductions.
Three Day Millionaire never truly finds an identity purely its own, instead leaning on the aforementioned auteurs to get its tale across. Its Ritchie-ness is thick, but also shallower than Guy. Its party-hard Boyle-isms are never as biting as Danny’s. It’s Wright-ings never fully measure up to the wittiness of Edgar. Despite all of this, as well as some pacing issues, it still manages to be a laugh-filled good time.
If you’re in the mood for a quainter British black comedy caper picture, it’ll get the job done. Not every film needs to rewrite the rule book, as sometimes you just want something that will deliver what’s on the box. Jack Spring’s Three Day Millionaire does just that.