Inspired by their experiences as Moroccans growing up in Belgium, El Arbi and Fallah pull no punches in lifting the curtain on not just the criminal underbelly of Antwerp’s drug trade, but also the prejudices ingrained in even those we’re supposed to trust, in this criminally hilarious gangster comedy.
Clutching his Gucci cap like a treasured status symbol, Matteo Simoni’s lead performance imbues wannabe gangster Adamo with an adorable Ali G-esque incompetence and lack of self-awareness that elevates the humour, while also expertly exposing the character’s naivete as a potent heartstring to pull during the film’s more dramatic turns.
With an energetic soundtrack boasting Flemish electro and rap, to a visual style lit with flashes of neon and adorned with tributes to video games of a bygone era, “Gangsta” channels a thematic confidence not unlike “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”.
Showcasing talents both technical and creative with a vibrant story combining rapid-fire comedy with human complexity, while also paying tribute to the gangster films that inspired it, it’s no surprise that El Arbi and Fallah have been tapped to achieve their Hollywood dreams with “Beverly Hills Cop 4” and “Bad Boys for Life”.
Hilarious and exciting in equal measure, “Gangsta” is sure to keep you enthralled even after the credits have started rolling.