Welcome to this blog of my film reviews. Some have been drafted carefully on paper, others I have sat and typed. I'm going to make it clear right now that I don't expect you to agree with my (re)views, or to like my style of writing. However, I want my views to be just out there and open, as a person who wishes to express himself from deep within. Feel free to comment and debate with me, but I do ask that you are civil and not harsh, as any comments which are basically swear words and insults will automatically be deleted. Also any text that is in orange (and often bold) is a Hyperlink to either a source, or a previous post for background reference.
Thursday, 8 September 2011
When his best friend (David Bradley) is killed by a gang of hoodies, elderly ex-Marine Harry Brown (Michael Caine) is sickened by the lack of results by the Police, so takes up vigilante action, killing all the scum on the estate.
The film is effectively gritty, making good use of fake blood to make this an effectively gory film. The film also uses strong use of the shadows and dark alleyways to build up suspense and bring a dark feel to the film. Grit is also added to the film by Caine’s performance, which is authoritive and determined to avenge. The quality of the cast is very patchy, with all the actors playing hoodies creating stereotypical chavs quite well, albeit overdoing the aggression, but Emily Mortimer and Charlie Creed Miles, playing the CID Officers investigating it all give bored, fairly wooden performances.
The main problem with the film is that it is far too unbelievable. Are we honestly meant to believe this pensioner with strong morals could so easily kill so many hoodies and drug dealers, without A) getting overpowered, especially when so many of his foes have guns and knives or B) feeling any remorse for his actions. The other problem is that the character of Harry is so self-contradictory – he hates the hoodies as they had presumably killed Len in cold blood, but then kills in cold blood himself. The other unbelievable factor is the fact that the Police seem so stupid, not taking anything too seriously and just seem so incapable of doing their jobs, which is a poor and hugely inaccurate depiction of the Police Force.
The film is fairly gritty but it is far too sloppy and farfetched, and is quite a disappointment, particularly when compared to recent triumphs of low-budget, suburban British cinema such as This is England (2006).
Stars: Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Charlie Creed Miles, Ben Drew, Jack O'Connell, Liam Cunningham, David Bradley, Sean Harris, Jamie Downey, Iain Glen, Lee Oakes, Joseph Gilgun.
Empire Award: Best British Film.
Empire Award nominations: Best Thriller, Best Actor (Michael Caine).