Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Welcome to the Punch

Jacob Sternwood (Mark Strong) is an ex bank robber who cripples Detective Max Lewinsky (James McAvoy) in a shot out following a robbery. Sternwood retires to Iceland but three years later he is forced back to London after receiving a phone call from his estranged son who has been involved in a robbery that has gone wrong where one man has been killed and Ruan Sternwood has received a stomach wound.  When Lewinsky hears that his old adversary is back in the capital he becomes obsessed with catching and arresting the master criminal. The strength of the hatred the detective has for Jacob is due to a psychological scar left by the belief that his career and his life has been ruined by the shooting incident that took place three years ago. Assisted by his partner Sarah Hawks (Andrea Riseborough) he sets out on a pursuit that will go far deeper than a simple matter of cops and robbers.

What no Bankers?

This British thriller/crime drama has been written and directed by Eran Creevy whose promising debut film Shifty (2008) was very well received. Creevy admits that Welcome to the Punch (2012) is, as they say, something completely different. It’s sets out to be a cool, slick action drama set in London that attempts to ape not only Hong Kong action cinema but also movies like Heat and The Departed. It has a superb supporting cast including Peter Mullan, Johnny Harris, Daniel Mays, David Morrissey, and Jason Flemyng, unfortunately most of whom are under used.

Another cup of tea son!
It took Creevy two years to write the story, which at times is a little far fetched but the set pieces are very well done especially the opening car chase through Canary Wharf. London’s chrome and steel has never looked quite so polished, thanks to the smart cinematography by DOP Ed Wild. But a superficial film that shows the overindulgence of its executive producer Ridley Scott and would of benefited from a little more grittiness. It was also a mistake to downsize a large amount of the back-story of our two main characters that leaves the narrative a little shallow. Creevy skill as a director does shine through at times with his best scene being the segment that takes place in Dean Warns grandma’s front room with a stand off between Warns (Harris) and Jacob, Max and Roy Edwards (Peter Mullan) that ends with a great slow motion gun battle.  Essentially a good B-movie masquerading as a main feature. 

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