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Richard returns home from military service to a small town in the Midlands. He has one thing on his mind: revenge. Payback for the local bullies who did some very bad things to his brother. At first his campaign employs guerrilla tactics, designed to frighten the men and put them ill at ease. But then he steps up his operation, and one by one these local tough guys are picked off by the terrifying angel of vengeance that Richard has become. Written by
Well, you can probably tell from the summary that I thought this was a really good film. To be frank, from the first few minutes I felt that knot in my stomach that comes from deep apprehension and anxiety; I was being manipulated from the off, and it just got more and more intense.
The film is a straight revenge story - a man goes back to a small town in the north of England to take revenge on a group of people who abused and tortured his mentally-retarded brother. Richard has been in the army for several years and is trained as a mercenary, but he plays mind games as much as he resorts to violence. In fact, I had to ask my friend if this qualified as a slasher film (which is how you will probably see it advertised) and we didn't think that the term does it justice.
The script is superb, and reminded me of Almadovar in that it squeezes an incredible amount of detail about the characters without any clumsy exposition. For example, to gauge the relationship between Richard (an astonishing portrayal by Paddy Considine) and his handicapped brother Anthony (played by Toby Kebbel with skill and sensitivity, and not a little sensuality) pay close attention to the conversation where they talk about a childhood football match. So much said about their characters, their relationship and the situation, in so few words.
A film as violent, aggressive and discomforting as this has no right to be as funny is it is, but it gets away with it. The gang upon whom Richard takes revenge are at times touching, farcical, disgusting, pitiable but ultimately human. The worst of humanity laid bare, making you want to retch and laugh at the same time.
I am not going to spoil this film by going into the little twists and turns, the less you know about the plot the better. Although many of my reasons for being so impressed with this movie are personal, I think that the script, acting, cinematography, direction, editing and soundtrack are all brilliant. This film is on a limited cinema release, but search it out; it will take you on a hell of a journey.
"God will forgive them and let them into heaven, I can't let that happen"
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