Mitchell (Colin Farell) has just been released from prison. The one thing he has realised is that he never wants to go back, so when 'old friends' offer him work at his release party he is reluctant to accept. Meanwhile, young starlet Charlotte (Keira Knightley) needs someone a bit 'handy' around her property to keep out the hounding paparazzi and hires Mitchell to mind the fences. Mitchell's attempt to go straight is thrown off track when his past catches up to him and places his new employer in peril, will he manage to shake off his reputation and begin afresh with Charlotte?
London Boulevard is a sinuous London Gangster-movie with an all-star cast. Ray Winstone (The Departed
) plays the sharp-suited and even sharper-tongued mob-boss with great aplomb. The stunning Anna Friel plays Mitchell's alcoholic sister with panache whilst David Thelwiss (Mr Nice
) plays Charlotte's agoraphobic pot-smoking house-sitting personal aid Jordan with true flair, carrying most scenes he is in with his thespian-dramatic mannerisms. There are even familiar names in the smaller parts too: Eddie Marsan (The Disappearance of Alice Creed
) plays a crooked cop and Matt King (Rocknrolla
) is part of the mobsters inner circle. It's well directed by William Monahan with most of the metropolitan vistas featuring a billboard of Charlotte in a Warholesque print really bringing a theme of continuity to the film as Mitchell falls for her.
Where London Boulevard falls down is that it's extremely difficult to connect to any of the characters; Mitchell's past stays an allusion, Charlotte is distant and on screen for all of 6 minutes, we have no idea why Mitchell has this great compassion for the big-issue seller he visits, it all just feels a bit two-dimensional. Whilst you might not see the ending coming, the journey there is just tenuous in places; the plot is flimsy and it's upsetting to see so much on-screen talent wasted on a poor script. Farrell's performance is stoic and unmoving, Knightley plays herself pretty much and only Thewliss and Winstone stand out for any commendations.
Extra content: The theatrical trailer is included on the disc, along with some cast & crew interviews - nothing unique, but interesting nonetheless.
In conclusion, a stellar cast, well shot with a great soundtrack but just doesn't deliver on the story front. Definitely worth a watch, but it doesn't quite measure up to expectations.