A remake of the 1947 film, directed by John Boulting, the new Brighton Rock changes the setting from the 1930s to 1964, during the mods and rockers era, where Kite, the leader of a gang, is murdered by a man called Fred Hale (Sean Harris) on the orders of Mr. Colleoni (Andy Serkis). At first, Pinkie Brown (Sam Riley) tries to get revenge but is overpowered.
However, it's not too long before he finds him and kills him, but there's a catch - the man at the photo booth took an impromptu picture with Hale, where Spicer (Phil Davis), who's on the verge of retirement from the gang, was brought into it, as was an innocent girl, Rose (Andrea Riseborough, playing a character who's a world away from her TV drama as Maggie Thatcher!). As such, Pinkie has to go back and get the slip from Hale's body to get the photo and, thus, leave no loose ends.
Before long, he charms Rose at a tea room where she works, which is owned by Ida (Helen Mirren), a woman who is shocked by the death of Hale because he was once a "gentlmen friend" of hers. Rose, however, is young and impressionable while Pinkie is, to put it plainly, a wrong `un. Still, that's irrelevant because she's besotted with him and thinks he loves her as much as she loves him. One example of Pinkie coming across as being particularly nasty was when he was lying on his bed, doing "She loves me, she loves me not..." on the legs of a Daddy Longlegs... bit gross :)
I've never seen the original Brighton Rock I'll admit I don't know a great deal about it, but that enabled me to come to this with fresh eyes. In my view, Sam Riley puts on an electric performance as Pinkie - I have Control, where he played Joy Division's Ian Curtis, recorded from Film4 on my TiVo and really should get round to watching it at some point, while Andrea Riseborough is perfect as the downtrodded Rose.
There's also fantastic support from Phil Davis as long-in-the-tooth gangster Spicer and able support from fellow gangsters Craig Parkinson (Cubitt) and Nonso Anozie (Dallow). Mirren and John Hurt are fine in this, although they don't really do much out of the ordinary, with what's more like a cameo from Andy Serkis as mob boss Mr. Colleoni, with whom Pinkie aims to join forces when he realises his own gang is falling apart.
Overall, with some neat twists and turns along the away, Brighton Rock 2010 is a film that never outstays its welcome through the near-2hr running time and I thoroughly recommend it.
Presented in the original 2.35:1 theatrical ratio and in 1080p high definition, the movie is nicely filmed and has an engaging visual style that evokes the period of the 60s. Looking sharp and highly-detailed throughout, it also appears to look like it's been filmed in Panavision, even though it hasn't. For the record, I'm watching on a Panasonic 37' Plasma screen via a Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player.
The sound is in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, for which I got the 5.1 DTS version, and in addition to the dialogue, it captures the brooding atmosphere perfectly.
The extras are as follows:
* Interviews (82 mins): There's a number of interviews here, in various forms with director Rowan Joffe, where he talks about why he remade the original, and also the two leads. These run for a total of approximately 82 minutes.
* Deleted and extended scenes (10 mins): There are six scenes in total, but while they serve nicely as extras, they don't exactly scream to be put back into the film.
One of them features musicians playing, except as this is a deleted scene, there's no music actually to be heard, which is rather amusing :)
* Anatomy of a Scene: The making of the record (11:30): A breakdown of the scene where Rose asks Pinkie to record his voice on a piece of vinyl in a recording booth.
* Mod or Rocker? (2:57): A brief piece where the cast are asked if they would've been a mod or a rocker.
* Kenneth Hume's Mods and Rockers (24:44): A short modern dance film which utilized the songs of John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison as performed by a band called the Cheynes (featuring Mick Fleetwood on drums). The short film was later folded into a full-length program alongside a pair of jukebox shorts, Swinging UK and UK Swings Again, retitled Go Go Big Beat for U.S. release.
* Alternative opening sequence storyboard (11:30): with commentary from the director.
* Stills gallery: Lots of images.
* Trailer (2:23): In 2.35:1.
* Audio commentary: with director Rowan Joffe and editor Joe Walker.