14 January 2003 | cremonese64
Nasty, yet superior TV Film
Messiah 2 is the sequel to 2001's grisly Messiah, which concentrated on an elite CID investigation into bizarre and seemingly motiveless murders. Soon enough it became apparent that the murderer chose his victims as their names corresponds with the twelve apostles.
Again, Messiah 2's killings have a biblical twist- the killer is targeting people who have literally got away with murder and thus have gained vengeance for wrongful convictions and unsolved murders. Yet, soon the killer branches out to specific targets, and a there could be a personal motive for this killer.
Messiah 2 begins with a sequence involving Red and his estranged brother. Unfortunately, when they meet up, Eric is dying from a stab wound, and Red begins trying to solve this case in conjunction with the main murder inquiry. There are some brutal scenes in Messiah, including a man being buried alive, bloody murder scenes and a man having his heart cut out. All it did lack was a decapitation. There is also a child murder, and its understandable therefore why release date was early 2003 rather October 2002, following the child murders in Britain.
Ken Stott returns as brooding, brilliant DCI Metcalfe, with Art Malik, Neil Dudgeon and Frances Grey making up his team, plus a plethora of new faces and british stars including Alums Armstrong who seems to be starring in everything these days, Vincent Regan and Shaun Dingwall (Touching Evil). Stott looks bored at times, yet is a magnificent character actor who really shines as the leading man. Malik is wasted in a small role, and Alun Armstrong excels as a destructive and tortured character who disappears about halfway through.
Although a little slow burning at times, and there is a tendency to stay at murder scenes a little too often (Another criticism of the first film), Messiah 2 is a gritty thriller, which will keep you on the edge of your seats right to the end, and the acting quality on offer is enough to keep you watching. The ending is typical of most thrillers, yet is completely absurd, as the identity of the killer is quite obvious. The character stood out completely as irrelevant in the context of the film and may as well had an `Iam a serial killer' Tattoo on their forehead. I wont name names, but try and look for the `Cracker' Connection. Also, Frances Grey as a full blown DS in a serious crimes squad at what, 25? That's ridiculous! Overall, Messiah is implausible and a little boring at times, yet it is an involving and memorable thriller, a rarity from the politically challenged BBC.