Payback Season

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Payback Season
Directed by Danny Donnelly
Produced by Danny Donnelly
John Adams
Justin King
Written by Danny Donnelly
Jenny Fitzpatrick
Starring Adam Deacon
Nichola Burley
David Ajala
Leo Gregory
Anna Popplewell
Geoff Hurst
Cinematography James Martin
Edited by Oliver Parker
Pure Film Productions
Angry Badger Pictures
Distributed by Revolver Entertainment
Release date
Running time
88 mins.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Payback Season is a British drama film that was released to cinemas on 9 March 2012. The film was directed by Danny Donnelly, and stars Adam Deacon, Nichola Burley and Leo Gregory.[1][2][3]


Jerome (Adam Deacon) is a successful young footballer, who is in the midst of playing the most important season of his career. When he goes to visit his mom on the housing estate he grew up on, he accidentally bumps into some of his old childhood friends, led by drug dealing loanshark and gangster Baron (David Ajala). Jerome offers to take the lads on a night out - but Baron, living in jealousy of Jerome's success, takes advantage of the situation and asks him for £10,000 to tide over his cashflow problem. Jerome agrees to give him the money, but no sooner does he do so, when he finds that Baron has enlisted his younger brother Aaron (Liam Donnelly) to help him on a hit. When he confronts Baron, Baron informs him that in order to keep his brother safe, he will need to stump up another £10,000. Not realising that he is being blackmailed, Jerome agrees. A week later, Baron threatens him for more money. Realising that he is being taken for a mug, he enlists the help of his trainer Andy (Leo Gregory) to inform Baron that he won't be getting any more money. However, the warning soon backfires on Jerome when Baron trashes his car and attacks Andy with a knife, leaving him in intensive care. With no choice but to put a stop to Baron, Jerome arrives at his flat to confront him, only to be stabbed in the leg by Baron in the process. With time slowly running out, the arrival of one of Baron's heavies stops a fight between the two. Baron orders him to shoot Jerome, only for him to shoot Baron before running away. Jerome is left on the floor, breathing heavily.



In August 2011, Geoff Hurst signed on to play the part of a football agent, making this his first role in a feature film.[3][4]

Critical reception[edit]

Variety wrote that the film was "let down by generic material that's light on both action and persuasive plotting",[1] but offered that a later edited release may be more successful.[1] View Auckland panned the film and its director, and wrote that the film was "poorly directed and often excruciating to watch",[2] with both a simplistic script and "an awkward central performance from BAFTA Rising Star Adam Deacon."[2] They felt that while Deacon was fine when in "wise-cracking support roles or weaselly scumbags",[2] he was "nobody's idea of a charismatic leading man, let alone a Premiership footballer."[2] They did note that while the performances of Leo Gregory and David Ayala were strong, co-star Nichola Burley's part was unconvincing and Anna Popplewell's was "shockingly bad."[2] The Observer also panned the film, describing it as a "poorly directed, badly written, inadequately acted" film, in which "nothing rings true, not even the tones on the characters' mobile phones."[5] The Independent awarded it 2 out of 5 stars but praised David Ajala's performance for its "intensity, menace and humour".[6]


  1. ^ a b c Gant, Charles (8 March 2012). "review: Payback Season". Variety. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Turner, Matthew (11 March 2012). "The ViewAuckland Review". View Auckland. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Child, Ben (4 August 2011). "Sir Geoff Hurst crosses the line into film with acting role". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  4. ^ staff (4 August 2011). "Sir Geoff Hurst to play agent in football film". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  5. ^ French, Philip (10 March 2012). "review: Payback Season". The Observer. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  6. ^ Macnab, Geoffrey (9 March 2012). "review: Payback Season". The Independent. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 

External links[edit]