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Stage hypnotist. performing since 1993.
Author of four books about hypnotism.
Photographer. Former resident portrait photographer at a prominent UK comedy club. Author of four books of photography. Images published in various periodicals, from Mumbai to London.
Artist. Numerous group and solo shows in England,USA,Poland, Australia, Germany.
Les femmes de l'ombre (2008)
A worthy message, enjoyable to watch but ultimately baloney.
This movie begins promisingly with a montage of images (during the titles) that squarely establishes the ideal of highlighting the role women played in WW2. Lets be frank, the defeat of Hitler depended on armies of women mostly on the "Home Front": in factories, on farms, as pilots ferrying aircraft, working in all the roles previously reserved for men, apart from the merchant navy, mining and, barring a few exceptions, combat.
This film of course takes the "glamorous" option of concentrating on those exceptions. Exceptional people did extraordinary things during that war and they deserve every admiration, especially as they could receive no acknowledgement at the time. The women who in real life were infiltrated into NAZI occupied territory deserve their story be told. Unfortunately this film doesn't do that. Instead its a complete fiction.
The entire scenario is hogwash. If a reconnaissance operative had been caught as is the central plot driver, the standard procedure would have been to kill him to protect secrecy, not send over a whole team including a man who knows all the secrets that needed protecting and thereby jeopardising the very secrets that the mission was to protect. The likeliest course of action at the time was to bomb the hospital into oblivion killing everyone and thereby protecting those secrets. Only an idiot would have put together the cock-a-mamie enterprise depicted. To ensure a hospitalised agents death would have required only one assassin timed to precede the bombing and willing to die if necessary in the process. Not a team of five.
What is worse is the tendency that seems increasingly prevalent in French movies of inserting gratuitous and tasteless scenes of a sexually provocative nature that do nothing to advance the story, are entirely unnecessary and, in this context, rather sick. The worst here being the perverse sexualisation of a woman of necessity taking her own life, turned into a kind of sick striptease for no audience but the viewer, overladen with a corrupted form of specious religious overtones that only cheapen the act and border upon blasphemy. It may not matter to non-believers, but as the victim was depicted as devout, that seems more of an abuse and an insult than a gesture of respect.
Compounding these deficiencies is the blurring together of a real project and fictitious characters, their names borrowed from real people who had nothing to do with it. The Oberst Karl Heinrich shown here never existed but the real life Karl Heindrich was actually one of the plotters who attempted to kill Hitler, not prevent the Allied invasion.
Then the project herself is abused and misrepresented. It wasn't called "Phoenix" but "Mulberry" (which I had lectured into me throughout my childhood by a man who had actually worked on it). It was so secret that Grman officers never had suspicions of its relevance to D Day. Those sent to study Normandy beaches (such as the Geologist in the movie) would have had no knowledge of the project, only the task of examining the suitability of shorelines for landings. Mulberry was not even related to that, the caissons only being taken over four days after the invasion. The project was indeed critical to the invasion however, permitting the creation of a logistic supply line. However, contrary to the impression given at the close of the movie, the Americans had little to do with this. Of the two harbours created, the British one was used to great success whilst the American one was misused, not supported by US leadership, allowed to fall apart and was swiftly abandoned. The project was British, not American, yet it is presented otherwise in this movie.
Altogether, the movie is a disservice to the truth and a dishonourable reflection on the real life heroines of WW2. I nonetheless give it a "5" because, in spite of this, it cannot be denied that it is very well made and gripping entertainment. It could have been so much better, especially had the final dedication been to the real female agent who was the inspiration for the story, as opposed to one of the fictitious characters depicted.
The Prestige (2006)
Excellent story, multi-layered, enjoyable, bears repeat viewing but far from perfect.
I have a particular perspective on this movie, being myself a stage hypnotist. Whilst my art is quite distinct from that of illusionists such as are depicted in this movie (although I have performed as such also) the two fields do overlap and in the broadest common usage I am often referred to as a magician. Many aspects of the story I found to resonate with me on a personal level.
I emphasise the story because that is what sustains this production. I have'nt read the original (though I have earlier work by the same author) but the screenplay sustains attention through what might otherwise be judged an overlong piece. To be frank, the movie starts slowly and dwells excessively on many scenes, some of which are irrelevant to the plot and could have been omitted with no loss. For example the one with the prank on the prison warder.
The sets, photography, costumes, performances are all excellent but one would not sit through it just for those aspects. Until the story cranked up some momentum I regarded the movie as yet another to make jokes about rather than being engaged by. Indeed I chuckled when a magicians "secret" is revealed in mysterious seclusion as what appears to be a gigantic metronome with its cover on(it isn't, but looks like one). The slow start is not entirely the directors fault and in this respect the writing falls short of its overall quality. Deliberate humour is actually one thing entirely absent from the movie, which may be appropriate given the dark subject matter. However, the early parts, with a story told using intercut viewpoints and time-frames, flash-backs and flash-forwards is really rather confusing.
There are sub-texts in the story which extend beyond the immediate tale itself and these are subtly flagged up in the script. The ambiguity of identity is only the most obvious theme. The best feature of the realisation only become apparent when one has already watched it and the metaphors hidden in plain sight throughout become retrospectively apparent. In a way, this is something of a magic trick in itself. Perhaps the attention spent on what I have suggested to be "irrelevent" scenes are after all a kind of mis-direction. A kind of magic!
Águila Roja, la película (2011)
Good fun retro-action swashbuckler.
An enjoyable unambitious modestly budgeted historical action movie.
The limited budget is apparent in the small scale of the scenes requiring extras. Otherwise this movie looks good and some of the costumes are excellent and none appear too tawdry. The story is in the genre of romantic action hero along the lines of Robin Hood.
There are multiple side-threads woven into the story, involving relationships, tragedy and comedy. All the cast turn in a decent to excellent performance. The principle continuity figure throughout is neither the hero nor any of his adversaries but the classic "fool" of a servant somewhat reminiscent of Sancho Panza in Don Quixote.
A good length but not overlong. Would be suitable as family viewing except for some elements (such as graphic fight scenes) that might make it unsuitable for the younger viewers.
The comedy element was sharp enough to get some laughs out of me even in sub-titled format (I don't speak Spanish).
Der amerikanische Freund (1977)
Great story squandered on empty posturing.
I will admit that I watched this film having previously, repeatedly, watched and loved the later "Ripleys Game" with John Malkovitch as the eponymous eminence gris. So I cannot consider the Wenders version without comparison. Really though there is no comparison.
I am staggered at how Wenders fans at this site seem to be preoccupied by the directors brilliance...as indicated in other work.I prefer to try to see what is before me. It isn't impressive.
Compared to the Malkovitch rendition, Hopper is utterly unbelievable. Malkovitch is the cool, manipulative, patrician sophisticate and sociopath that fits Ripleys form. When he talks art we believe it. Hopper is just a bumbling joke. In no sense can we believe the proposition that such a flake could succeed as a player in the world of fine art dealing. He wouldn't get through the door. Ray Winstones clubland villain in Ripleys Game is totally believable. The French guy in this movie is just a vacant nothing, the echo of a fart that Winstone might deposit in passing. The American gangland henchmen are utterly ridiculous. They don't have a muscle between them and are as menacing as a tea lady. The fight scenes are a pathetic joke, reminiscent of something out of a Sixties spy spoof, one tap on the head and a guys dead. Yeah! The movie is padded out with empty scenes that serve no discernible function, such as Hopper playing with a polaroid camera. One senses Wenders trying to create "iconic" images, Ganz leaning bout of a train cab screaming...but they just don't work. How the heck would he gain access to the train cab anyway? The whole thing is amateurish, pretentious and glib. Nothing has substance. Its badly edited. Sloppily shot. Inconsistently lit. The music is dire and doesn't segue properly with the cuts of each scene.
Ganz is superb, but Hoppers "performance" undermines that. He looks like he thinks the film is some funny foreign farce that he will take part in just for the fee but indicates his disrespect via various tells in expression amounting to a suggestion that he is playing "tongue in cheek" yet flatly without irony. I greatly enjoy him in other movies, even B-movies, but in this he was embarrassing to watch.
I suspect that most of the high scorers here would agree with at least some of my opinions had they seen the movie without knowing its author.
In Bruges (2008)
Comical and absurd yet profoundly thought provoking.
I started watching this with my usual scepticism: "Probably yet another Brit Gangster movie attempting to tread where much better has gpne before" I thought. Well, not in such words, but that sums up my expectation.
I soon realised how far from the case this is. The movie is quite original. The characters are compelling. The script is of that quality you do not notice because it seems totally natural. The acting from the trio of leads is of course excellent but also from the unfamiliar supporting cast. The originality really hit with the contrast between the almost "Carry On" characters and the realisation of what they do and one of them has done. Not depicted flippantly, as in the typical crimeland flick, but with cold honesty.
This dissonance between comical absurdity and moral darkness is shocking and disorientating. It is the main force in the story. It isn't a flash in the pan either, but is developed cunningly as the ethical maze of arguments, actions, intentions and jumbled consequences unfolds.Truly, this is a movie that is both comical and yet philosophically profound within the ambit of complete realism. Just one scene on its own poses a question most of us will never before have considered: can a mans moral debts be paid by the taking of his life without that being by his own hand? If that puzzles you, just watch the movie.
Of course, no movie is perfect. One thing that slightly diminishes the freshness of the movie is that Fiennes character tends to remind one of that played by Ben Kingsley in "Sexy Beast". In fact, his manner of speech seems almost identical. Nonetheless, it works in context and, as with other aspects of the movie, produces both comedy and profundity. I think the appearance of movie extras echoing the visions of Bosch could have been bolder. One characters ultimate leap was the one thing a bit far-fetched, not because he would not have attempted it but in that it worked out as intended. On the other hand, the way the loose change used in that scene was "primed" in our thoughts earlier was maybe the best example of this technique I've ever noticed.
I was staggered to discover that this was the directors first full piece.
The Fixer (2008)
Slow, simplistic, silly, boring, banal, irritating, corny...
I don't watch TV but bought the entire first series of this rubbish before discovering that I simply couldn't bear trying to watch it. The whole idea is ridiculous and a cliché to start with. But we set that on one side as its a staple format.
However, it also tries to imitate the superb Sixies TV series Callan to a disgraceful extent. Hence the relationship between the main character and his side-kick, a direct plagiarising of the earlier series. The sidekick is also the shows most awful point. Why on Earth would such a useless, incompetent, idiot be employed in a highly secret, sensitive and critical operation such as depicted? The main character describes him as unbearably irritating. well, surprise, he is...so whats the idea, do the makers want us to be continually irritated start to finish. If so, then they succeeded.
Then its pace....so slow you could watch icebergs melt in the longeurs.
The action...I didn't see any in episode one, none whatsoever.
Plot less, directionless and docile, whats the point?
Engaging but crass collection of clichés and plagiarised ideas of others.
The rendering, of the arrival, base and mining operation is stupendous. Well conceived and executed. However, we are already in a world of cliché. The whole kaboodle is not a stones-throw from Starship Troopers thought bigger and better. And the entire Viet-Nam analogy is utterly so obvious that only the pace gets one beyond it.
After the clichés of briefing by a card-board stereotype of a movie colonel we are introduced to the technological conceit at the heart of the plot. There's a basic problem of logic with it. How is it that if some kind of spinning hardware like an MRI scanner is necessary at the "driver" end of each exchange of consciousness no such thing is required at the "Avatar" end? I mean, to send a radio message, or any other kind of exchange requiring a piece of hardware at the "sending" end its usually necessary to have a receiver at the other end?
Well there's really no answer to that, we just have to overlook it.To anyone watching this for the first time I recommend you just skip the middle hour and a half entirely.
Its worth seeing the end of the movie just to witness the shameless lie-merchandising mode into which Cameron et-als puerile mind-set defaults when their mask finally slips. As I say, nobody should be surprised, but what is surprising is that these "sky-people" from Planet Hollywood think they can colonise our minds with their air-headed ignorance. First up the Eco-lie stated quite clearly by the guy who describes Earth as a dead planet on which there is no foliage. Well, however far in the future its set, on present trends that's just simply a lie. Earth is experiencing, partly due to rising CO2 levels, an extraordinary greening. Desertification which had been threatening much of the world for decades is now very palpably reversing. The eco preach is not simply a cliché, it's a cliché stated in contradiction of simple facts. it's a lie.
The second lie is the stereotyped Imperialist Horror!. Yes there was and in some places still is an Imperialist Horror. Apocalypse Now ("The Horror") was based on Heart of Darkness and that story was based on fact. BUT, and that's a big but, whilst Imperialists have desecrated the sites and communities of cultures they have oppressed, for example the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamelan, or burning down of churches that has become an epidemic in much of the Conflicted World, the scale of destruction envisaged here is quit literally exorbitant. You do have to watch it, I'm afraid, to grasp that the Humans in this movie wreak a destruction on the indigenous people that is, one hundred or on thousand times as grievous as anything that ever happened in Western Imperialist history. To find anything similar we would need to look at the actions of the Inca Empire or, indeed, the Third Reich. What Belgium did in the Congo chills the heart, but it pales into insignificance compared to the destruction of the arboreal heart of the Navi. This isn't about numbers killed (millions on Earth compared to hundreds in the movie) but the profundity of the assault. Again, unfortunately, you have to sit through this movie to appreciate the way the analogy with Western Imperialism has been blown out of any Earthly comparison.
Finally we come to why I think the movie is ultimately disgusting. It comes when the renegade pilot says that she had hoped that there would b a tactical plan that did not involve "martyrdom".
Now who talks of "martyrdom" as a tactic? And how many times have "martyrdom missions" been conducted? Where and against whom? In the decade after 2001 there were in excess of 20,000 such "martyrdom" missions and the overwhelming body of victims were civilians, non-combatant men, women, children, across the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia, South-West Asia, China, Eastern Europe and yes, western Europe and the USA. However, the overwhelming abundance of targets were not even arguably Western Imperialists as Cameron et al undoubtedly want us to think, they were not even "Westerners", but people of many cultures who happened to be of the wrong tribe, sect, religion, in conflicts that for the most part date back long before the USA even existed. This movie, by cueing us with the word "martyrdom" in that specific context, attempts to justify such acts, romanticising them as the self-sacrificing actions of underdogs against oppressors. Sometimes they have been. Overwhelmingly they are not. Cameron must really have good yoga skills to insert his head where it must be for him not to have noticed this.
We must not forget the sheer arrogance of Cameron et al in ripping off without credit the source artists for this "vision", particularly the Russian Noon Universe novels of the Strugatsky brothers (about the Nave people of arboreal planet Pandora kind of similar eh) and Ursula Leguins "The Word for World is Forest". Most blatantly of all, the floating mountains from the work of Roger Dean a favourite of my teen years although here they tend ultimately to remind one more of the Flash Gordon movie. The scene with thousands of Navi riding winged creatures to battle almost absurdly reminiscent of Brian Blessed and his winged sky-warriors in that earlier (vastly superior) movie.
Cameron et al attempt to beguile us, weave a web of fairy-tale fancies and pass off upon us two howling lies and an ethical equivocation that is utterly disgusting. The bottom line is the irony that the shallow, morally simplistic dufus character at the heart of the movie pretty neatly sums up the kind of air-heads these Hollyood sky People themselves are. No doubt this commentary will antagonise many who read it: people who cannot process long sentences with multiple sub-clauses and people with the same superficial mind-set as Cameron and his mates.
Defying Gravity (2009)
Banal clichés held together by spit and elastic.
This is drivel.
Just look at the clichés. Everything in it is a cliché. From the man with a shameful episode in his past ( such a cliché already thirty years ago that it was the key joke in one of the Airplane movies ) to the newly spaceborne astronauts taking viewers on a camera tour of their vessel.
The main problem as with every such TV show that has ever been made is that it bears no relation whatever to the realities of spaceflight. The idea of sending Humans to such places as Venus is utterly preposterous. To land a crew there...several tons pressure per square inch and hot enough for lead to flow like water, that the physical constraints would make it pointless if not actually impossible.What would they do in Venusian orbit they cannot from Earth. What would be the point? Six planets in six years, doh! Utterly preposterous. It would take nearly two years to reach Mars alone.
The space-vessel as it is shown betrays a complete ignorance of engineering principles. The spacesuits look like they are from a fancy-dress shop. The behaviour of the astronauts is absurd ( in one shot the women are portrayed as like giggling schoolgirls, in another shot a man on EVA is clutching and peering into an engine nozzle...doh ). They might as well portray the correct vehicles...the Orion CEV in development now and its Ares booster, to be test-flown next week, would still be in operation in the time-frame depicted, so why cant they be shown instead of the completely fictional machines that we see. Presumably because the writer knows nothing whatever about the subject and is stuck in the era when he wrote "Six Million Dollar Man".
This is reflected in that daft idea of a quick six year flit round the planets. When the logical setting for this "drama" ( sans drama ) would be the lunar systems of either Saturn or Jupiter, where there are innumerable settings for exploration and adventure. But the writer would have to actually have to know something about astronomy or space exploration in order to avail himself of such a possible setting. Instead, we are here given a load of tired old outdated terminology like "pods" this and "pods" that. And the most ridiculous excuse for the obvious lack of weightlessness I've ever heard...the crew are kept on the floor by nano-bots, pleeease! But if so, why does the ship need centrifuges as well? Presumably the "designer" has seen them somewhere before and stuck them on his "ship" without even knowing what they are or are for. Certainly without realising that the centrifuge modules are a full ninety degrees misorientated to the mast.
Still, lets not get technical, spaceflight is only the most technical setting a TV maker can put characters into, so you have to allow them to cover their ignorance with visual waffle.
So there is this "international" crew with a token Indian. The reality is that any manned missions even remotely ambitious in the future are almost certainly going to be ENTIRELY Indian or Chinese affairs. The US will be lucky if they can ever afford to get back to the moon. India and China are the only nations motivated to sustain manned space exploration in the longer term. Don't take my word for it, check out the encyclopedia astronautica.
At every turn, more clichés. The darkly hinted hidden agenda "would they go if they knew?" Arguments about authority, rank, status, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. When TV science fiction doesn't pretend to be "realistic",giving us flights of sheer fantasy ( Aurora or Farscape ) it is at least entertaining. But as soon as they try to be "realistic" it ends up a bunch of boring hack and never even remotely based on anything in reality.
This programme is a case in point.
Le mépris (1963)
The Discrete Charm of The Emperors Robes.
The striking thing is that although some comment writers here at IMDb appear not to have understood such basic aspects as which character is which, or what sequence of events actually occur in the story, they nonetheless manage to award it maximum credit and declarations of "masterpiece".
One "viewer" here has said that Mr Prokotsch carries a little book from which he is fond of quoting banal aphorisms. In fact the character who is fond of making these utterances is the real-life Fritz Lang ( played by himself ). They are not "Hallmark trifles" but quotes from playwrights and he utters them not from a little book but from memory! Indeed, I don't think such a "little book of quotations" appears in the movie even once! Clearly the reviewer in question didn't know which character was which, what it was they were doing, or what in actuality ( rather than their imagining ) was happening on the screen.
Several "viewers" refer to the alleged significance to the psychological play of one character leaving a second alone with a third. Yet in fact, the true weight of this is not demonstrable upon the basis of what we actually see. It is, on the contrary, only one of several conjectures uttered by one of the characters and is neither confirmed nor denied. Similarly, in another comment here we are told that one character despises another because he is selling-out rather than pursuing his dream. And yet in the actual movie ( as opposed to the version in that viewers imagination ) it is this character himself who declares this, not having it echoed or endorsed by any of the others.
On the contrary, every "clue" as to the psychology of the relationships shown is carefully balanced with others in such a way that we are denied any so simple an explanation for what transpires. Just as the characters ponder and conjecture the psychology of Homers characters in the film they are making we are left to wonder which of any number of possibilities explains the relationships in this story! Which raises the alleged auxiliary narrative of the making of the film itself. Despite what at least one person writing here states, this tells us virtually nothing about the practical experience of the movie-making process. Rather, the movie-making process acts as a framework or scaffolding defining an abstract space within which the relationships unfold. Similarly, this sense of an abstract space, a "virtual proscenium" as it were, is made boldly and visually in the scenes that take place on the rectangular, flat sun-blasted roof of a building. It is so like a stage. It is accessed by the characters via a tiled flank that steps down in a broad stair-like manner reminiscent of the pedestal of a Greek temple. Echoing the Homeric themes of the movie the characters are working on.
That so many reviewers can be so factually mistaken about what they think takes place in the movie, to the extent of confusing characters and conflating events, yet nonetheless resoundingly endorse it as a "masterpiece" poses very basic questions about the objectivity of their judgement.
Had none of them been primed by the reputation of the Great Godard to expect it to be a "masterpiece", perhaps they would either have thought otherwise of it, or perhaps even have watched it more closely. Dare I say, more appreciative of its genuine attributes.
For this is a little recognised problem with the ready flow of hyperbole in praise of an Emperors Fine Robes. It actually deprives the artist of a fair assessment. I, among many, find myself encouraged by the all too abundant flow of automatic accolade by those who are keen to be seen as "sophisticated" by their "appreciation", to be unduly hostile of the actual work even before seeing it.
So I have to pause to take stock of the actual merits of this movie, rather than be provoked by the reactions of they who are blind to all but reputation.
The principle strength of the film is in the very denial of an explicit narrative interpretation such as some writers here have referred to. The movie is visually "flat". Most strikingly in the scenes in the apartment which uses the architecture of the interior to compartmentalise the characters into different "boxes" in a flat plane. Entirely consonant with concepts being explored in painting contemporaneous with the making of this movie. But the story is also rendered "flat" by the way in which insights into the psychology of the characters are offered and yet at once contradicted or withdrawn. Thereby creating an impenetrable cryptic "surface" of Human affairs that may seem to be an artistic conceit yet is on reflection, true to real life. In Hollywood's version of "reality" there is always one final narrative. In real life there never is. Nor is there in this movie. Watch it with an open mind as to what happens in those relationships, taking into account all of the evidence rather than just what fits your preconceived notions, and you will be forced to come to an "open verdict". A position of irresolvable enigma rendered final by the tragic event near the end.
At first my reaction to this, and its occurrence off screen was to think it a "cheap shot". But it indeed serves this function of rendering the mystery of the story as to why one character reacts to another, irrevocable by removing one of those characters forever from the prospect of revealing that truth. As the character in question actually says in almost the preceding scene "Not even death will force me to tell you".
Overall, the film is of academic interest like a challenging piece of art in a gallery. So it might be thought of as part of Godards "work in progress" at that time. It has zero value as entertainment.
Pretensious incomprehensible and veering towards garbage.
Warning, "spoiler" here...the comic book Mr Big of the piece is shot dead in part 1 ( 1973 )...but somehow hes walking around giving out alibis for people in 1983...dressed in the same turtleneck. Or was that a "flash-back" from 1983 to 1973? But wait a minute, the bloke he was giving an alibi for was being tortured and citing him for an alibi in 1983! So hows that work? Its anyones guess really.
Oh, that rat, are we supposed to think of 1984? Why how terribly clever!
One of my brothers was a policeman throughout the period covered in the series. Another of my brothers quit "The Force" in the sixties largely because he couldn't tolerate the daily tide of corruption that he witnessed. So I have no illusions about what a corrupt, venal institution the police was then or the kind of characters who were, and very often still are graced by Her Majesty's uniform. The character of Gene Hunt in Life On Mars was uncannily reminiscent of my own brother at that time, except for lack of the almost regulation moustache.
Well, Red Riding got the moustaches right, as well as all the other period detailing. But the goings on portrayed as regular activities of the local Bobby, shooting up bars with MP5 submachine guns, having Wild West shoot-outs in the station basement, "extraordinary renditions" of troublesome journalists to Chilean style work-outs for days on end at a warehouse...are utterly and ridiculously over the top. Can anyone name a single case of incidents such as these on record? Deaths in custody. Yes. Beatings and even murder of suspects, yes. But running around doing "deals" with submachine guns like Snake Plisskin in LA, give us a break! As for the much prior vaunted "atmosphere" created in these films, all it amounted to was the digital equivalent of a tobacco-filter giving everything a sepia tint. Comically crass. Almost like the workmanship of that satirical movie-director character created by Benny Hill.
The first episode had, in effect, no plot whatsoever. OK, Mr Big is linked to a serial killer and protected by the police who keep beating up the journalist who tries to expose the truth. So far, so simple, so cliché. So trite. Then in Part two The Names start to roll. The cast list of named characters continues to roll throughout part three. If you cannot keep up with this continual "he said, she said, he would, she would, the other said, his son and his daughters boyfriend" ...and I certainly couldn't...then you have no chance trying to make head nor tail of whats happening. Except The Cops Are BAD! Thats all it amounts to. Then at the end of part three we learn that, surprise, surprise, its everyones favourite candidate for local nonce that did it! Why should understanding a movie depend on the viewers ( I stress "viewers" ) ability to remember great lists of names and correctly attach them to characters glimpsed briefly in fleeting earlier scenes. Heres a clue to the director, its supposed to be a MOVIE, or TELEVISION, NOT a book or a radio play.
All in all, I was massively disappointed. The preceding hype for this series of films can only have exacerbated that. When one is persuaded to spend six hours of ones precious time on something, one feels cheated when it turns out to be such dross.
I think that young actor who, in the trailer, pompously boasts that "...if it had been an ordinary cop show I would not have taken part in it" will, I fear, live to regret that statement.
I would have awarded the series one point out of ten, but for its at least serving the purpose of showing the British police in a dim light ( quite literally ), which certainly constitutes something in its credit. Hence my awarding it "4".
Postscript.Before anyone cries "foul", we saw no submachine guns...no we didn't SEE them, but remember the scene when the weapons used in the attack on the bar are enumerated. Two of the guns used, it was revealed, had been MP fives.