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Go Get 'em 'Arry
on 2 March 2015
`One day a real rain will come and wash all the scum off the streets'. Remember that line (or at least something close)? Well here's our own rain, pouring down in the form of `Arry Brown, AKA Michael Caine, and it's here to wash the scum off our own streets. These particular scum are arrogant, nasty hoodies who lurk in an underpass close to Harry's block of flats and from there he can watch the sordid goings on at the entrance.
There's a short opener which is both horrific and cathartic in equal doses. This sets up the film and appears as a précis of the complete story - bad guys get their comeuppance - but ultimately that notion isn't as strong as the film's commentary on the state of our own Land of Hope and Glory and on the morality of Harry's actions which constitute its heart. In the first part of the film we get to know Harry pretty well, or at least as much as we need to, but this belies what is to come as the film slowly goes downhill. Harry's life is pretty grim, having recently lost his wife, and it becomes grimmer when he then loses his only mate to the scum in the underpass. From here things take a darker turn and the film spirals out of control like the events which it depicts.
Harry is well portrayed by the aging Caine who demonstrates his ability not only as an actor but as a bit of an action hero too. Conveniently Harry was once in the marines, which sets him up with a few skills that would be beyond any ordinary pensioner (thankfully we are spared any martial arts moves although that might haved upped the entertainment value). And so the killing spree starts. Enter two unbelievably badly cast and badly written coppers, Charlie Creed-Miles (badly cast and badly dressed) and Emily Mortimer (badly written as being totally ineffectual), whose inability to put two and two together successfully left me scratching my head .
Daniel Barber, hot from a career in commercials, handles the proceedings with a deft hand but some scenes are a tad clumsy while others are memorably tense. He pretty well bullies us into knowing whose side we are on but the writing lets down a fairly standard vigilante film by pushing it beyond the realms of credibility. But give me Michael Caine over Charles Bronson any day.