Be Good or Be Gone (2021)

Two criminals get a break from prison life but find themselves in one pickle after another in this Irish dramedy from filmmaker Cathal Nally.

Ste and Weed are two petty criminals and cousins serving time in a Dublin prison. However, due to their good behavior, they are allowed a four-day furlough and are allowed to return home. For Ste, it would mean trying to make amends with ex-girlfriend Dee, who also is the mother of his daughter Ellie May. However, Dee feels like Ste will always be stuck in this life of crime. As Ste becomes more resilient to prove to Dee he has changed, his world is about to be turned upside down.

While Ste has cleaned himself up, the same can’t be said for Weed, whose drug addiction has taken the best of him and yet, he wants to be a fashion designer. He still looks for a score while Ste finds himself in a major situation. His former boss Braler has learned he is out of prison. He wants Ste to do one last job while he has the opportunity to do it. Ste, however, has made it clear that he has no intention of going back. When the boss threatens Ste’s family, he must decide what he’s going to do. Will he do the job one last time, or will he do what’s right and at what cost?

This Irish film, co-written by lead actor Les Martin, is reminiscent of perhaps some of Guy Ritchie’s earlier works along with other British and irish-based comedies revolving around a chance of redemption that may be in jeopardy. While some films tend to lack chemistry between the characters, the chemistry between the characters work really well here and it is all thanks to Martin and Paul Murphy’s script, which shows a lot of character development within the story.

Martin and Declan Mills are fun to watch together as cousins Ste and Weed. While Ste is the level headed one, Weed is the junkie whose deadpan delivery works perfectly with Ste’s levelheadedness. Jenny Lee Masterson helps with the dramatic portion of things and brings the best of Martin’s emotional range as she plays Dee, Ste’s longtime partner who wants to move on because she clearly is convinced Ste will not change. Their situation is just one vital part of Ste’s situation while out of prison.

However, things get more complicated for Ste when it comes to Braler, excellently played by Sean Cronin-lookalike Alan Sherlock. Braler does whatever he can to force Ste back into the criminal world while he is out of prison. And when Ste constantly refuses to go back to his old life, Braler takes drastic measures and goes as far as threaten Dee and Ellie Mae, it puts a dent in Ste’s new moral compass as we see him deciding what to do and what are the ramifications of his options.

Be Good or Be Gone is well-thought up Irish dramedy whose greatest strengths are the chemistry between characters and the focus of one’s moral compass as he struggles to survive both inside and out all within four days.

WFG RATING: A-

Random Media presents a Skidaddle Films production. Director: Cathal Nally. Producers: Cainneach Mac Eoin, Les Martin, Declan Mills, and Cathal Nalty. Writers: Les Martin and Paul Murphy. Cinematography: Stephen C. Walsh. Editing: Thomas Wolfenden.

Cast: Les Martin, Declan Mills, Jenny Lee Masterson, Enya Martin, Brid McCarthy, Gerry Shanahan, Aiofe King, Alan Sherlock, Ruth Hegarty, Grace Cahill.

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