Schemers (15)


Fortune occasionally favours the reckless in Schemers, a roughly hewn drama-comedy based on the true story of how Dundee-born concert promoter Dave McLean cut his teeth before he moved to London and became manager of rock band Placebo.

McLean could have entrusted his blast-from-the-past to safe film-making hands.

Instead, he boldly chooses to direct his own story, drawing heavily on the visual lexicon of Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting in an exuberant opening salvo that introduces us to his younger self: “A degenerate gambler with delusions of grandeur”, played with cocksure swagger by Conor Berry.

After a promising start, Schemers loses its way and a faltering script fails to endear Davie to us as he becomes embroiled with the Dundee McMafia and mistreats his two-dimensional girlfriend.

By the time the lead character is threatened with a one-way trip to the bottom of the River Tay, any drops of sympathy have evaporated, undermining the impact of a frenetic final act which famously brings heavy metal maestros Iron Maiden to Caird Hall in June 1980.


Rating: Two stars

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