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Cinema: Small action heroes; SON OF RAMBOW **** (12A, 95 mins) Comedy/Drama. Bill Milner, Will Poulter, Jessica Stevenson, Neil Dudgeon, Jules Sitruk, Ed Westwick.

FOR those of us who lived through the 80s, it was the decade of leg warmers and Space Dust popping furiously on the tongue.

Son Of Rambow is a delightful coming-of-age story harking back to those days of kitsch attire and Bucks Fizz losing their skirts at Eurovision.

Garth Jennings' adorable comedy centres on lonely Will Proudfoot (Milner), whose mother Mary (Stevenson) is a member of the strictly religious Plymouth Brethren and forbids him from corruptive influences such as film, television and the radio. Consequently, Will retreats from his classmates into his sketchbook.

At school, Will meets troublemaker Lee Carter (Poulter), who has been abandoned by his parents and lives with his older brother Lawrence (Westwick). The young tykes spend the afternoon together, watching a copy of Rambo: First Blood.

Inspired to imitate Stallone's muscle-bound killing machine, Will secretly agrees to perform death- defying stunts in Lee's homemade film, which the boys hope to enter in a national competition.

Tensions flare when French exchange student Didier (Sitruk) tries to muscle in on the lead role, driving a wedge between the new best buddies.

Son Of Rambow is irresistibly charming, blessed with compelling performances from the two leads.

The script strikes a perfect balance between laughter and tears building to a deeply moving finale that warms the cockles of your nostalgic heart. The boys' filmmaking escapades are hysterical, including some potentially lethal stunt work, with a rickety seesaw contraption to catapult Will over a bale of hay.



CHARMING - Bill Milner, left, and Will Poulter in Son of Rambow
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 4, 2008
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