on 9 February 2014
Detective Harrigan (Stephen Tompkinson) returns to his old neighborhood after working in Hong Kong. It is Jan. 1974. Due to budgets cuts, the police work at reduced pay and numbers. Some of the precincts have been closed. Hooligans control the streets and in Harrigan's neighborhood it is Dunstan (Craig Conway) a man who wears a clown mask when he kills.
Harrigan also deals with a criminal justice system that is more criminal than justice. He has decided to reopen a precinct right in the middle of the worst area, hand selecting a few work mates to come with him. He works outside the law to achieve results, creating problems as well as solving them.
The film is violent with the last 15 minutes going to the extreme. 3 1/2 stars
on 21 March 2014
It's refreshing to see a film that is based on a true story and being so powerful and gripping. Set in the North East in the 70's , it shows the turmoil of the power cuts at a time when the miners strike was happening. Gang fights, violence, authentically portrayed and superbly acted. I just wish there were still Detective Harrigans in the Police now. I recommend this to anyone.
on 16 November 2015
A film - not for the faint hearted - set in the early to mid 1970's when we had the 3 day working week, electricity 12 hours on, and 12 hours off everyday, and strikes of Nationalised Industry. Depicting the social time in and around people struggling to make ends meet, with money sharks, and a loss of basic 'law and order' cutbacks.
on 2 September 2014
Very bleak,quite depressing,dark and gritty. Only Brits make such films so well. Violent and gripping,anyone who enjoys uk crime drama such as red riding and earthy films like this is England and dead shoes should lap this up. Definately the best role ive seen Stephen tomkinson play. Excellent film.
on 4 January 2015
Some policeman goes back to his old stomping ground, after turning into Dirty Harry on the streets of Hong Kong, getting sent home from his student exchange, or whatever it was he was doing over there..
Once home in Geordieville, he sees his 'manor' has been turned into a Victorian hellhole of child pickpockets and feral chimney sweeps, led by a vicious cockernee(?), who's irascible nature ~ I'm guessing here, judging by his appearance ~ is presumably down to a lack in availability of mens' personal grooming products and shampoo, down at his local corner shop!
So anyway Harrigan's had enough, and so he takes it upon himself to sort em all out by opening his own Untouchables styled headquarters. Shaking his fist, the substantial bags under his eyes shuddering with sheer intensity.. Vowing to stop the rot and claim back his neighbourhood.
I had high expectations for this and although disappointed, it's not a bad effort I suppose. It's all very 'Life on Mars', with a soupcon of 'Harry Brown' thrown in for good measure. Especially with the lighting, trying to create a time period/atmosphere.
The whole thing reputed to be based on a true story, which I didn't know, but the film is so far fetched and the characters so cliched at times, I can only assume it has been pumped full of artistic licence, in order to deliver 'what it's perceived audience will want'. . . The scene where Harrigan and his crew of 'Untouchables' take on a pub of villains, seemingly a prime example of the films attitude and lack of realism..
Of course it's not complete rubbish though, and it's certainly entertaining, with plenty of Panda Allegros nee~nawing up and down the place. And fans of either of the aforementioned efforts will no doubt find this suiting their tastes perfectly, although after watching it, I'm sure that they wont necessarily think it's a perfect execution as well.
The biggest downside, other than the rather cliched, cut out characters (it's set in Newcastle, but the lead bad guy is a cockney!?! Why?) and predictable turn of events, is unfortunately the films lead, Stephen Tompkinson.
Now don't get me wrong, the man can act and he tries hard in this, but I just never have and never will see him as a so called hard~man. No matter how many press~ups he does in his little white 'beater', he still just looks like some vicar off Ballykissangel...
Which makes you wonder, what with some of the dodgy Geordie accents on display, where was Jimmy Nail? I mean that guy's practically The King of All Geordieland isn't he? Surely they could have got his crocodile shoes involved for a bit of authenticity?!
So all in all, I felt that although it's heart was in the right place, the delivery wasn't anywhere as near as good as it should have been. Having said that, fans of British 70s crime features will undoubtedly, still be entertained.
The UK Blu Ray comes with a making of doc, some deleted scenes and a trailer. The picture quality as you would expect for a new film.