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Welcome to the Punch (2013)

 -  Action | Crime | Thriller  -  15 March 2013 (UK)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 20,444 users   Metascore: 49/100
Reviews: 66 user | 122 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

Ex-criminal Jacob Sternwood is forced to return to London when his son is involved in a heist gone wrong. This gives his nemesis, detective Max Lewinsky, one last chance to catch the man he's always been after.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dean Warns
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Nathan Bartnick
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Thomas Geiger
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Roy Edwards
Natasha Little ...
Jane Badham
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Juka Ogadowa
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Iris Warns
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Harvey Crown
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Ruan Sternwood
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Robert Wiseman
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Luke
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Barber
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Storyline

Former criminal Jacob Sternwood is forced to return to London from his Icelandic hideaway when his son is involved in a heist gone wrong. This gives detective Max Lewinsky one last chance to catch the man he has always been after. As they face off, they start to uncover a deeper conspiracy they both need to solve in order to survive. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Stunning, Intelligent Thriller

Genres:

Action | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

15 March 2013 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Punch 119  »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,736 (USA) (29 March 2013)

Gross:

$6,787 (USA) (5 April 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Max Lewinsky drains body fluids out of his knee using a syringe he is smoking a cigarette. After he drained the body fluids out of his knee he sprays the fluid into a pan and then taking a final smoke of his cigarette. The cigarette he throws into the pan with his body fluids appears to be taller than when he took the final draw. See more »

Quotes

Dean Warns: I'll tell you why I'm a good soldier, because of selfless commitment
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Connections

Featured in Projector: Welcome to the Punch (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A reasonably entertaining film that is a little disappointing
12 March 2013 | by (London) – See all my reviews

It's been a long time since I have seen so much advance publicity for a film. Underground stations and trains, buses and billboards in London seem to be festooned with posters advertising "Welcome to the Punch". There has also been a noticeable TV advertising campaign in the UK, aimed at plugging the film's supposed entertainment value. It is clear that "Welcome to the Punch" has a substantial PR budget attached to it. I am not surprised that so much effort is being made to convince potential viewers of the film's credentials. Although "Welcome to the Punch" is a reasonably entertaining film, it is ultimately a disappointing one. It has more style than substance. It's a slick, glossy thriller that looks expensive. However, it is also a bleak film with (apart from one funny scene that is a strangely effective mixture of humour and tension) little to lighten its almost unremittingly depressive milieu.

"Welcome to the Punch" is an attempt at modern day noir. It seems to me to have been heavily influenced by some of the recently successful TV crime series emanating from continental Europe (primarily Scandinavia), such as "The Killing", "Borgen" and "Spiral". However, it's not as good as any of those programmes. A few years ago, criminal mastermind Jacob Sternwood (Mark Strong) injured London detective Max Lewinsky (James McAvoy) and fled to Iceland to escape the clutches of the police. He has now returned to London because his son has been shot and injured and is critically ill. This gives Lewinsky the opportunity to try to apprehend him for his past misdemeanours. Thus begins a complex tale of revenge, political and police corruption and obsession.

"Welcome to the Punch" is entertaining. It is beautifully filmed and is a visually confident film that is a delight to look at. The acting is, for the most part, good - there is very effective support from the likes of Peter Mullan, Daniel Mays and David Morrissey. The soundtrack too is spot on. So, why is it no better than an averagely good film? Well, for one thing, the plot is so complex that it is sometimes difficult to follow. There is, for example, one scene in which the behaviour of a character (which ultimately leads to her being killed) is simply inexplicable. We have to wait a further 30 minutes or so for an explanation of why she did what she did. This is most definitely a film that requires the viewer's undivided attention - so much so that watching it sometimes seems to be much more of a chore than a pleasure. In addition, it is sometimes difficult to discern, amidst the frequent scenes of gun violence and mayhem, exactly which character has been injured or killed. This is because several of the actors have a similar physical appearance to each other and because the action all too often takes place in a darkly lit, brooding atmosphere that makes it difficult to see exactly what is going on. McAvoy gives a very good performance as the obsessive detective hellbent on revenge (despite occasional lapses with his London accent!). And it is certainly the case that "Welcome to the Punch" is a stylish film. But it is ultimately also a bleak and empty one that, despite the money and behind the camera talent expended on it, barely raises itself above the level of a competent thriller. 6/10.


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