OK movie, not a world beater but entertaining enough. It has it's good moments even though much of the story is quite pedestrian at times. Surprises are, indeed, far and few between. The story in fact follows a well worn tradition of genre that has appeared in the guise of the western as well as vigilante movies of the 1960s and 70s, gangster movies of the 30s 40s and 50s as well as many many other forms.
But, unlike those films, this version of "a man is made to suffer and everything he holds dear is taken from him 'til he can take no more" does not attempt to drag us through the gutter until we ourselves as the audience want revenge of the worst possible kind. Instead it takes us through a much more personal and human experience and actually manages to explore human nature in a much more solid and realistic way than one might expect from such low budget fare.
At the end of the day we do root for the hero, but not because he is a superhuman, martial arts, special weapons trained, green beret, who was just holding back until we as the audience just wanted our own blood lust satisfied gratuitously, but because he is just an ordinary guy faced with a desperate situation.
Because at the end of the day, in truth, he could be any of us. And though "Menace" may be a tad long at times and has it's faults (though none terminal in my opinion), it is well worth seeing if you're in the mood for a good British made for TV crime drama that won't put you to sleep for a change like all their murder 'mysterys' with pseudo Sherlock Holmes types are beginning to do me.
But as I said previously, you've got to be in the mood for this one, because if you are it'll get you in!
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