Mean, gritty, dirty and low and that's just the Policeman Gary Keltie (Ken Stott) out for retribution for the horrendous crimes against the helpless people of Edinburgh during the nineteen ...
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Mean, gritty, dirty and low and that's just the Policeman Gary Keltie (Ken Stott) out for retribution for the horrendous crimes against the helpless people of Edinburgh during the nineteen seventies, by notorious, torturous, and killer, debt collector Nickie Dryden (Billy Connolly). This is as hard as they come; giants of their professions one with a trade that needs to be kept secret and the other holding a grudge. Shot around the beautiful City of Edinburgh years later, with it coarse language and criminal underclass, we see the wrath of spite, hate, jealousy and violent vengeance all in the final showdown of justice and with it its uncompromising final debt to society. Written by
Involving and frightening, but not quite touching.
This is an oddity: a British film that doesn't trade on its Britishness, instead relying on its strong plot and themes to carry it along. Billy Connolly's and Ken Stott's performances contrast pleasingly, the former underplaying his hopefully-reformed murderer, and the latter foaming at the mouth with the sheer excesses of his anger.
The film touches on themes of forgiveness, justice and obsession, but lays no claim to easy solutions, instead trying its hardest to give a hard time to all involved. Forgive but don't forget would seem to be the message.
Unfortunately, its fast pace sometimes swamps opportunities for true character development. At times saddening, at others horrifically disturbing, The Debt Collector never manages to build enough empathy to be truly touching.
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