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If Charles Bronson was a cockney...
on 31 May 2014
Bless Danny Dyer – he tries his best. After a string of box office flops which make his good films like ‘The Football Factory’ and ‘The Business’ seem like they were set in some weird, parallel reality, he’s going for a tried and tested formula – namely the ‘revenge’ film.
Danny’s his usual cockney self. Only this time he’s an ex marine returning home from jail (I did briefly recall why he was locked up, but it doesn’t really matter) to find a gang of local hooligans have only gone and roasted his mum and dad alive. And, to make matters worse, the police seem powerless to arrest anyone. Therefore, Danny must take matters into his own hands (or ‘ands as he would call them) and deliver his own unique brand of justice.
Unfortunately, watching unlikeable characters getting brutally murdered may be mildly entertaining (as we’ve all see some little thugs defacing a bus stop and wished extreme punishment upon them), but it’s hardly unique any more. Ever since Charles Bronson took the law into his own hands there have been countless imitations. Some work okay, others don’t. But they all have the same message – namely about how the law doesn’t always work and sometimes you have to root for the ‘antihero’ to get the job done himself. Recently, Michael Caine released ‘Harry Brown’ and Jodie Foster did ‘The Brave One’ a few years before that. Both were equally unoriginal, but at least they had more of a budget than Vendetta.
It’s an okay enough film, but it just doesn’t really have anything new contained within. Danny Dyer does his best (as he normally does) to portray a tortured soul, living on the outskirts of society, but, unfortunately, he doesn’t quite pull it off. There’s a sub-plot about the various police officers assigned to the case (and the area in general), but many of them come across as too uncaring and inept to be believable.
If you’re a die-hard Dyer fan, you’ll probably enjoy this more. However, if you’re just a casual fan of revenge movies, you’ll have probably seen better than this. It may not be Dyer’s finest work, or up to The Football Factory or The Business, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.