Isaba review – New film by Riz Ahmed angers and uplifts

Newlywed actor gave a testy, but ultimately compelling performance as a 10-year old when travelling halfway around the world to save his youngest son in the Amazon dramedy

Known best for being Idris Elba’s buddy in American cultural tours and legendary hip hop poetry on The Wire, Riz Ahmed’s latest role sees him in somewhat more familiar territory. Playing a US marine whose family is stranded at sea as the world almost meets its end, the British actor gives a testy, but ultimately compelling performance.

And while he is better known for his screen friend Abdi Dada and participating in a somewhat overrated Shakespearean drama, The Night Of, he was clearly determined to give a big performance in this film, the American release of which gives him the opportunity to join big screen stars Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger and John Cena in Hollywood’s increasingly big deal for independent films. The Observer’s Will Dean has given it five stars.

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