Top critical review
What a waste
18 June 2019
So - often in film reviews here about real events people mix up admiration for the real person with an assessment of the movie. Examples are the various Churchill films and Eastwood's film 'Sully' Please note everyone these ARE different and can and should be separated.
So turning to Veronica Guerin the movie, despite all the five star reviews here I thought it was a weak melodrama and which probably does a disservice to the murdered journalist. The film starts by fast forwarding to the ending where we see Guerin shot; so straight way we know how the story ends. Goodbye suspense. Cate Blanchett is only OK - hampered by a script that reduces her to a paper-thin caricature in a city of ever thinner caricatures. The resulting lack of engagement further weakened my involvement in the story.
Guerin suffers a series of increasing brutal attacks / warnings from drug dealers. The message of back-off-or-else is written on a billboard 30 feet high. That Guerin continued to be a thorn in their side is matter of history but in the movie her persistence comes across as naive, juvenile and selfish. When Guerin is shot (for the second time) there is no sense of surprise shock or revulsion. The film closes in a hasty documentary fashion sketching out legal changes to crack down on the drugs trade in Ireland (attributed here to the journalists death) and the arrest of the key gangsters involved.
Visually the film is dark and the quality of the picture wasn't great. The only part of the movie that worked for me was the tragically true image young kids playing with dirty syringes in the gutter of a run down estate. Sadly this movie lets both them and the memory of Veronica Guerin down.