As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart. Accompanying him is a neighbor who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan.
Mitchel ('Colin Farrell' ) just got out of jail and wants to stay legitimate but his friends involved in the messy London underground fear him and wants him to join them again but Mitchel tries his best to stay away. He gets himself a job as a bodyguard for a retired actress Charlotte (Keira Knightley) who is still hot news for the paparazzi. Mitchell, through his friend Billy eventually meets the underground Don by the name of Gant (Ray Winstone) who wants Mitch to work for him because of Mitch's reputations. While working together Mitch and Charlotte fall in love. Gant asks Billy to get the guy who sent Mitch to jail but it turns out to be the wrong one, Gant kills the guy in front of Mitch and lets Mitch know that he has to work for him now that Mitch has seen him commit the murder but Mitch refuses. Gant keeps trying to force Mitch to his side promising him good ranks and positions but he has to let go of Charlotte but Mitch turns him down even threatens him to stop trying making ... Written by
In a lot of ways, this is a puzzling movie. Every single element of it is so right, so how does it end up being so completely uninvolving that I ended up nearly falling asleep halfway through? The problem isn't the casting; Colin Farrell makes a hell of a gangster, all smouldering machismo stomping through the streets of London. And with a supporting cast that includes Eddie Marsan (sleazy), David Thewlis (sleazier) and Ben Chaplin (sleaziest, and very, very good), Farrell has some excellent support. Ray Winstone has never been scarier, but of all people it's Anna Friel who takes the acting honours as Farrell's sister, a woman who out-sleazes Marsan, Thewlis and Chaplin combined.
The problem isn't the locations, or how true to life they are. I lived in London for a long time, and I've rarely seen the city depicted better, all back streets and alleyways with nasty bastards lurking around every grubby corner. Considering the film's writer and director William Monahan is from Boston, I was worried that this might be the tourist's eye view of London, but that really isn't the case. The film positively drips with atmosphere, and the expletive-heavy dialogue rings true.
And yet it all sits there, lifeless on the screen, a collection of images and characters that seem only vaguely related to one another. It doesn't help that the main plot - will Farrell become a proper gangster, or will he end up with Keira Knightley's way-too-good-for-him actress - is hardly new. But that doesn't have to be a deal breaker, and there are plenty of interesting minor characters to pass the time.
The problem is really that the film feels rushed. Those minor characters aren't given nearly enough time - Marsan gets three scenes, none of them remotely important to the plot, and even Anna Friel doesn't get a lot to do. She's still better off than Stephen Graham and Sanjeev Bhaskar, great actors who are cast in completely pointless roles that could have been played by anyone. And so much of this movie feels tacked on, from the dozen or so subplots, to Winstone's pointless murder of the wrong man halfway through, to the stalker, obviously based on Mark David Chapman, who makes several ominous appearances and is then dismissed in a single line of dialogue.
If some subplots and characters are pointless, though, the ending made me feel that way about the whole damn film. Without giving too much away, it's a horrible, limp lettuce of an ending, with none of the resonance that the film-makers clearly thought it had achieved. That's the film in a nutshell - it wanted to be profound, but ended up as a giant 'so what?'
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