Saturday, 23 March 2013


Mark Strong, James McAvoy, David Morrissey, Peter Mulan and Andrea Riseborough.

British crime drama.

Mark Strong is, Jacob Sternwood a super-intelligent, super-crimbo, super-supreme, deep-pan pizza of a villain with extra anchovies and cheese, who carries out a hugely successful heist in Canary Wharf and retires to the good life in Iceland, in the process he shoots obsessive, straight-arrow, detective, DCI Max Straight-Arrow in the leg. I should point out that his surname isn't actually 'Straight-Arrow', it just seemed appropriate, his real surname is Lewinsky but the film doesn't mention if he's got an American cousin or not, I like to think he does.


Some years later, Sternwood is forced to come out of retirement and back to big smoke for his son, who's just starting out on a criminal career of his own, and stumbles onto a political scandal that goes all the way to the top and, not only brings him face-to-face with his old nemesis, but also a super-secret, mercenary outfit, an unhinged ex-army killer with a mummy fixation AND the combined ranks of Scotland Yard! Crikey, it's no wonder they say crime doesn't pay. Although who this 'they' are and why they keep coming up with the best quotes is beyond me.

So, in the meantime we have Mark Strong, who just eats not just the scenery but every other actor (apart from Peter Mulan) off the screen with his craft, my god that man is good, he's always watchable and has a real magnetic screen presence. In this movie he plays the sort of criminal super-genius, with an honour-code, you only find in the movies. You know the sort, he can take out highly trained SWAT teams (admittedly they're Icelandic SWAT teams but still) like they were a bunch of off-duty, community support officers on a paint-balling holiday, sneak in and out of London whenever he likes, evade the entire, combined might of the Metropolitan Police Force, shoot the eyes out of a fly at 50 yards, which he does at one point in the film, fire a couple of machine guns while diving in slow motion through a night club while an entire battalion of baddies with machine guns spray every inch of space in hot, super-sonic lead and a whole host of other awesome and amazing things and that's before he's even had his breakfast!

This isn't a bad film, the action sequences are great and it looks superb, at long last a British crime film, filmed in London, with British money that doesn't look like Britain, finally our film makers have found out how to make any city in the world look like the US, mainly film it at night and turn on every light they can find.

So, this is action-packed, cliche-packed and drama-packed, it doesn't offend, it's not too long, it has a brilliant s-l-o-w – m-o-t-i-o-n shoot-out in an old-lady's front room, which is fantastic and hilarious in equal measure and it's got Mark Strong, who I don't think I've mentioned yet. In fact, all-in-all, it wasn't all that bad.

Oh and it also starred James McAvoy who was everything else that Mark Strong wasn't, right down to his weedy accent and stupid limp. He's not terrible, he's just miscast and he's just not Mark Strong or Peter Mulan.


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