Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Learn more Fitbit
Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Low Heat, 21 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Welcome to the Punch [DVD] (DVD)
This is a twisty, fast-paced crime thriller, seemingly with an agenda to prove that a British film can have the swagger and the sheen of a flashy Hollywood thriller. It succeeds, but this superficial mimicry doesn't mean it's a good film.

The plot concerns a young, angry cop named Max Lewinsky (a possible allusion to Mad Max Rockatansky, visually referenced in a notable staircase scene), played by James McAvoy, seeking revenge on a crook named Jacob Sternwood (Mark Strong), who blasted his kneecap three years ago. Various double-crosses draw them together, at which point things take a fairly predictable turn. There are chases and gunfights along the way, although only a shootout in an empty nightclub really raises the pulse.

The cast is great on paper, but it fails to elevate paper-thin characters. McAvoy is always engaging, but his anger here comes across as petulance rather than burning rage. Andrea Riseborough is wasted as his inexplicably patient sidekick. Strong, Johnny Harris and David Morrissey are all dominant presences, performers of great skill, but no amount of acting nuance can add depth that was never there.

The surface similarities to Michael Mann are obvious - this is the nocturnal LA dreamscape convincingly transplanted to Canary Wharf. But Mann works with great scripts (or at least used to). Collateral began with a brilliant, character-forming dialogue in a taxi, furnishing the rest of the action with a deep human context. Heat was a mythic exploration of genre archetypes. Punch is more Miami Vice than either of these movies.

Too many motivations are foggy. Too many plot threads go unfollowed. Too often the need to ape the glossy Hollywood standard undermines the opportunity for a unique plot hook or a surprising revelation. Complicated isn't the same as deep. The story meanders, but what good is that when the results are so predictable?

There are some positives. Technically the film is impressive, creating something cinematic out of ordinary, familiar places. The action is decent, mostly clear without relying on confusing editing. And it's never boring as such, even though you'll see the ending an hour away. But for me it felt like an expensive TV pilot for a series that'll never take off.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]