Top critical review
Violent, disturbing and by moments quasi-pornographic crime story, with a rather weak ending
on 17 February 2014
I found this British 2008 crime film watchable, but in its second half it disappointed me a little. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.
Gerard "Ged" Brennan (Scot Williams) is a rather succesful gang boss, heading a "crew" of a dozen hardened criminals, specialized particularly in hijacking trucks with valuable goods. Amongst the most significant members of his "crew" are his younger brother Ratter (Kenny Doughty) and a gigantic heavy named Moby (Rory McCann, of "Game of Thrones" fame). "Ged" Brennan is respected by his fellow mobsters and he is particularly good friends with the local big boss, Franner (Stephen Graham) - but even though he was sollicited, he always refused to get involved into drug trafficking, aware of high risks involved.
When this film begins, "Ged" Brennan is living a particularly difficult moment in his life: his last "job" turned badly, one of his mob friends Leo "The Pig" Murphy was found murdered, his marriage is in trouble, he has a cash flow problem, which can jeopardize his participation in a highly profitable (and perfectly legal) land deal, his right hand Moby gets into a ton of trouble because of his sexoholism and as if all that was not enough, his younger brother approaches him with a completely unexpected and shocking proposition...
What follows is for most of the time a rather honest crime film, which I mostly enjoyed, excepted for some quasi-pornographic and rather disgusting scenes (I am not talking here about the rather harmless little scene of girl-on-girl action). Twenty five minutes before the end, everything was in place for a very dramatic and powerful great finale.
Sadly, at that moment the director decided to go all "Deus ex machina" and the last twenty five minutes are really a whimper rather than a bang. OK, there is one little surprising twist, but it is a really little one and ultimately instead of drama, the whole great finale is a kind of gangster "Kumbaya". Of course, some people die violently - but still when the final credits started to roll, I was all "meh..."
Bottom line, this is a honest British gangster film, definitely more serious and realistic than movies like "Rocknrolla" or "Layer Cake", as there is little humour there and much more very ugly violence, but the last twenty five minutes are very, very disappointing. To watch once.