Fresh out of prison, Mitchel wants nothing to do with crime but accepts a kip from Billy, a marginal grafter, and accompanies Billy on rent collection trips. He's also old school, wanting revenge on two youths for assaulting a mendicant he's befriended. He's got a strung-out sister to protect, and he's offered a job protecting a famous actress from paparazzi. The plot lines join when Michael finds himself attracted to the actress and Billy's Mob boss, Gant, finds ways to force Michael work for him. He also warns Michael off revenge against the assailants of his friend. What are Michael's options: is there any way to avoid Gant, protect his sister, and find a path to love? Written by
The movie had promise - directed by The Departed's writer William Monahan and starring an eclectic bunch of British stars Colin Farrell, Keira Knightly, Ray Winstone, David Thewlis and Anna Friel. Even Eddie Marsan, Stephen Graham and Ben Chaplin make appearances.
Unfortunately despite a snazzy score and a stylish flourish, this movie is nothing more than a collection of London gangster movie clichés and stereotypes with an obvious script written by an unauthentic source. The characters can all be labelled with a single word (villain, victim, druggie etc), bereft of any depth or colour.
Farrell plays Mitchell, fresh from prison and determined to go straight, within half-an-hour, he has been offered a choice of two jobs. One working as a debt collector for tough and possibly homosexual (who cares?) gangland boss (Winstone, who else) and the other protecting a damaged & shy actress (Knightly). Needless to say, Winstone doesn't take kindly to being refused and sets his sights on hurting Mitchell as revenge (hasn't he got better things to do?) The movie doesn't ring true at every juncture and the only pleasure the viewer grab, is when watching Thewlis's thinly veiled Withnail impression or with the music on show.
Do yourself a favour and watch Layer Cake instead.
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