18 March 2009 | ben_cg
Challenging but brilliant material
The second film in the Red-Riding trilogy is another haunting almost hallucinatory tale of revenge and justice. Paddy Considine is excellent as the slightly cerebral and introspective officer assigned to review the failing investigation into the Yorkshire ripper, and the whole cast give performances of a very high class. The shocking corruption of the Yorkshire police revealed in the first film now intertwines into the real life history of the ripper's crimes and the bumbling investigation which was still fixated on the (hoax) tapes and letters in a fascinating but terrifying way.
It feels like a lot of material is woven into the film which expects you to pay attention and work stuff out. Having said this I found the film easy to watch, it didn't drag at all but like many great films it requires you to think a little. I really will need to see it a second time to try and piece together all of the threads, this is dense and exciting storytelling - perhaps not for everybody but hopefully this will find the audience it deserves.
Some say that the corrupt police story is too fantastic, but we know for a fact that some people were fitted up (via beatings and falsifying/withholding evidence by the police) for major crimes during this period (Birmingham Six, Guildford Four etc.) and that some police such as the Vice squad in London were running a very lucrative protection racket in Soho with senior officers (DCS) directly involved. Without giving away the plot the story here only goes slightly further and seems 'believable enough' to me.
Although essentially produced as 'TV Movies' the first two films (and I expect the 3rd to be the same) have been of a higher standard than about 95% of film releases, I strongly urge anyone who likes intelligent crime noir to see these films if you get the chance.