Taking Stock is light and breezy fun but doesn’t move up through the gears meaning its throwaway charms are quickly forgotten. However, Kelly Brook gets the chance to shine in a starring role.
Director Maeve Murphy takes the simple charms of try-hard model and presenter-turned-actor Kelly Brook and turns the stage over to her best Bonnie Parker impression (in spirit at least). Taking Stock, a London-set caper, sees Brook star as a disgruntled shop employee who decides to rob her workplace when she’s thrown on the scrapheap. Inspired by photos of Bonnie Parker, she gathers a gang from her shop assistant friends to help out in the robbery scheme. However, along the way, she begins to wonder who and where her Clyde is.
What we have is your bog-standard, light fare, all set and shot within your stereotypical breezy London locales. Admittedly, it’s shot very nicely and the film gains some life because of it, but this might be a tactical move in order to disguise the film’s underlying problems as this is yet another classic case of style over substance. The script is pure fluff, very ropey without any sense of subtext or complexity, and the characters are pretty much basic, having zero undercurrent or fascinating backstories to drive them. Also, the contrivances evident within the plot might be better suited to hour-long TV.
Kelly Brook’s acting abilities are questionable at best (with the possible exception of Piranha 3D) after appearing in Keith Lemon: The Film, Survival Island a.k.a. Three and TV’s shockingly dreadful One Big Happy (which got cancelled after only six episodes! Wonder why…?). Here, she does give her best performance (even though that’s not saying much); the concept of her being this Bonnie wannabe is still baffling, but at least she manages to be a likeable presence, acting all cute and awkward and thankfully never pushed to deliver anything more than what is a bubbly turn that steers away from becoming excruciatingly annoying. The rest of the cast keep up that bubbly charm moderately well and do their best, even if the script somewhat lets them down.
The lack of sophistication in the areas of both writing and production hinders Taking Stock, making it nothing more than a throwaway frivolity. If you’re someone who wants to watch Kelly Brook for 75 minutes in a farcical caper, then this is the film for you. For everyone else, give it a miss.