It was always going to be a brave move to bring another version of Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock
to the big screen. Yet there’s enough of an identity within director Rowan Joffe’s take on the material to give the film a distinction of its own. Joffe recruits Sam Riley, Helen Mirren, John Hurt and Andrea Riseborough for the film, and steers a path that’s slightly different from the book. Nonetheless, the end result remains a solid thriller, with lots of little reasons to commend it.
It’s an incredibly stylish Brighton Rock, for starters, which has both pros and cons. On the plus side, it’s always an interesting film to look at. The negative? Well, there’s an argument that said stylings do get in the way just a little. But then you get some strong performances, that swing things in Brighton Rock’s favour anyway. Sam Riley, impressive in Control, is on fine form here, and leads a strong cast. The end result is never likely to be regarded as a much-talked-about classic, certainly. But this Brighton Rock nonetheless has more than you might expect in the tank, and makes for an enjoyable, interesting thriller. --Jon Foster
United Kingdom released, Blu-Ray/Region B DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 5.1 ), English ( Dolby DTS-HD Master Audio ), WIDESCREEN (2.35:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Alternative Footage, Cast/Crew Interview(s), Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Featurette, Interactive Menu, Making Of, Photo Gallery, Scene Access, Short Film, Storyboards, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: The year is 1964. The place is Brighton. A once quiet seaside town is suddenly overrun by gangs of sharp suited Mods and greasy Rockers looking for a riot. Amongst the chaos lurks top Mod and gangster Pinkie Brown. Ruthless, ambitious and horrifically violent, Pinkie will stop at nothing in his brutal quest to make a name for himself within the criminal underworld. But when a cold bloodied killing links him to a waitress named Rose, he uses seduction to secure her silence. Can Rose be saved in time from Pinkie, or will he drag her further into a world of death and damnation? Based upon the classic novel by Graham Greene, Brighton Rock is a gripping, razor edged thriller. The directorial debut of screenwriter Rowan Joffe (28 Weeks Later), Brighton Rock features two generations of Britain's greatest acting talent including Sam Riley (Control), Andrea Riseborough (Never Let Me Go), Helen Mirren (The Queen) and John Hurt (The Elephant Man). SCREENED/AWARDED AT: British Independent Film Awards, ...Brighton Rock (2010) (Blu-Ray)