Friday 15 March 2013

Review: Welcome to the Punch

Year: 2013
Director: Eran Creevy
Screenplay: Eran Creevy
Starring: James McAvoy, Mark Strong, Peter Mullan, Andrea Risborough

Synopsis is here

Welcome to the Punch is by no means perfect. The film lacks theintensity of Heat, although the blue tinted hues and murky cop and criminalbonds suggest Micheal Mann as an influence. While other elements such as JamesMcAvoy and his cock-a-ney accent also take a while to warm to. Yet despitethis, there is something tangible and provocative within its subjectmatter that provides interest. There's a clear ambition in its scope andvisuals that land it a cut above the usual Laandaan crime capers we are sooften used to.

The scale of thevisuals and well executed set pieces are needed to elevate admittedlyworkman like plotting. Fans of this type of genre will know from the off why soand so is doing such and such, before the characters themselves evenhave time to comprehend. The element of surprise is not a strongpoint in the storyline mechanics. Yet the film does contain bold strokes.The antagonists of the enterprise and their reasoning may not shock,but they do leave the right kind of nasty taste in the mouth. Creevy's filmmanages to shoe horn small topical moments (displaced soldiers shadyPR) that may have been explored before, yet are well presented andfor the most part, are solidly entertaining.

While the path iswell trodden and yet again I'm watching another film that feels the need tohang out at a cargo bay (Batman Begins, Hanna, The A Team, The Losers, Redand the rest), I felt the enthusiasm from from Creevy's set pieces and the wellknown group of character actors (including yet another thumbs up for MarkStrong and Andrea Riseborough) pulled this out of the lurches. There's enoughin Welcome to the Punch to the casual crime fan going.