The Debt Collector is a gritty, powerful drama filmed mainly around Edinburgh at the tail-end of the last century. This is hard-hitting stuff and Billy Connolly is at his best as the reformed convict, Nickie Dryden. The Big Man is an outstanding comedian but he's also a multi-faceted performer and can turn his hand to acting, bringing sufficient gravitas with him to a dark and starkly complicated role such as this. In this film, he does a great job of playing a Scottish hardman who after many years in prison has married into respectability and embarked on a new artistic career as a renowned sculptor and writer. However, the cop who helped bring him to justice, Keltie, simply cannot accept his new found fame and so sets out on a personal crusade to torment the former convict - preferably in public, where his humiliation can be maximised.
This movie is rated 18 due to its brutal street violence, a rape scene and its use of industrial language throughout, however it all adds up to a Scottish version of 'Angels with Dirty Faces' or Taggart on steroids. Indeed, impressionable youth, the cult of celebrity gangsters, the forgive/revenge dichotomy, and the personal feelings of detectives who deal with the sharp end of crime are key themes at the core of the film.
Did Dryden deserve his second chance? You decide. Overall, a great movie. Gripping and morally challenging.