1 October 2017 | davidenn
"On the surface, it may appear wrong, but underneath, it restores a balance."
Sight & Sound magazine called this an "interestingly offbeat UK thriller" and it only takes a few minutes of watching to see what caught their attention.
This does initially appear to be yet another entry into the long line of '3 for a tenner', petrol station DVD rack fodder. The sort of mockney B movies that arrived in the wake of 'Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels' each seemingly fighting with the one before to decide who could concoct the most preposterous mix of old school villainy and modern London.
Perhaps this film is different because it's the creation of a Canadian. Someone looking in from outside and making the best use of London locations to tell a familiar yet well executed tale. Yes there are clichés here aplenty but when the film looks this good and the acting and characterization pop the way they do, you can set that aside.
There's a tinge of European seriousness to the proceedings which is welcome. The film isn't without humour but it's refreshing to see a UK gangster film (for want of a better genre tag) that doesn't trip over itself trying too hard to be funny. In fact, modern noir may be a better label. And there really aren't enough of those, especially ones that use London locations as well as this.
All the lead actors put in a good performance but Anthony Head's portrayal of an ageing criminal patriarch standing on the edge of the abyss of dementia is particularly enjoyable.
A score of 8 may seem a little high and that's admittedly based on this ticking a few of my idiosyncratic film boxes. But I think there's enough here for most crime film enthusiasts to find something new. A fresh angle. And that makes it worth checking out.