A British crime film starring Ray Winstone, you might expect, may offer few surprises. You'd be wrong though. Winstone sacrifices his usual top dog role to play an usually timid ex criminal who seeks a decedent retirement in the scorching heat of the Ballearics. What he doesn't bank on though is the appearance of an unhinged gangster played by Ben Kingsley, demanding that he return to London for one final job. We are used to seeing Kingsley prosper in worthy roles from Oscar winners, so it's almost a jaw dropping moment to hear him utter his first words as a dense sounding cockney hoodlum. It's a role that he clearly relishes as it displays a genuinely impressive range of acting skills. How believable the fear he generates from Winstone and his cohorts is perhaps debatable, but fantasy elements protect the film from over analysis and give it a refreshingly artistic edge. Whislt Sexy Beast at times seems a little similar to the now familiar style of Guy Ritchie's films, it certainly offers enough to be able to stand up in its right. Not least for allowing two fine actors to explore and successfully conquer new territory.
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