A vicious London gangster, Jack Carter, travels to Newcastle for his brother's funeral. He begins to suspect that his brother's death was not an accident and sets out to follow a complex trail of lies, deceit, cover-ups and backhanders through Newcastle's underworld, leading, he hopes, to the man who ordered his brother killed. Because of his ruthlessness, Carter exhibits all the unstopability of the android in Terminator, or Walker in Point Blank, and he and the other characters in the film are prone to sudden, brutal acts of violence.Written by
Mark Thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The UK cinema release was cut to get an "X" rating by the BBFC with the stabbing of Albert edited to remove some shots of the knife. Director Mike Hodges later admitted that "The less you see of the knife, the more effective the scene is". The cuts were waived in 1993. See more »
The movie's an ice-cold exercise in revenge, with a no-nonsense script and a first-rate turn by Caine as the heck-bent avenger. Someone killed his brother and, by golly, they're going to pay along with anyone else who gets in his way. The idea's not new; what's different is that Carter (Caine) has almost no redeeming qualities. He's about as cold blooded as the worst of the gangsters he confronts. Rooting for him is like rooting for a stomach pain over a headache.
Then too, Caine's ice-blue eyes are put to good use in sizing up his targets. And catch that gear shifting in the fast car timed to coincide with Carter's fast action on the bed. At last the subtext of all those sleek auto advertisements is revealed, this time in high octane. I just wish we saw more of Ms. Ekland, both literally and especially figuratively. And if that's not enough, catch that great ending. It's a marvel of imaginative staging and a perfect cap to what's gone before. Anyway, the movie reminds me of a polished piece of glass-- just about as cold and shiny and needing no depth. I couldn't stop looking at it.
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