A middle-aged crime boss smugly reflects back from 1999, narrating the brutality which made him triumphant - and feared. As an unnamed young hood in Swinging 60's London, he aped his mod boss Freddie Mays, and seemed to do anything for him. But his narration exposes all-consuming envy: of Freddie's supremacy, and especially his tall bird. The baby shark develops his viciousness and backstabbing, scheming to be Gangster No. 1. Written by
In the opening bathroom scene, it is actually director Paul McGuigan at the urinal, according to the director's commentary. See more »
In various shots you can see brand new street lamps. These would not have been around in 1968. See more »
[song "The Good Life" begins as scene opens at boxing match; crowd noises]
What? With Scotland Yard breathing down me neck? Fuck off. Do me a favor!
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The story might be rather ordinary and it may become less interesting after the first hour or so, but this is generally intriguing stuff. The film is effectively narrated and performed by Malcolm McDowell, but Paul Bettany is the one who really shines here, replicating McDowell's charisma as an uncaring and violent youth, whilst also injecting some of his own spirit into his character. The film is rather clever in fact with how it uses McDowell and what he has come to stand for, with a number of interesting echoes of A Clockwork Orange throughout the film. The biggest problem that I found in the whole production was that the flashbacks to the 1960s looked just like the present with no feel for the era. But really, other than that and a story that is not out of the ordinary, this is a well made film with an interesting visual and audio style, and quality acting to top it all off.
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