A thriller about an IRA gunman who draws an American family into the crossfire of terrorism. Frankie McGuire is one of the IRA's deadliest assassins. But when he is sent to the U.S. to buy weapons, Frankie is housed with the family of Tom O'Meara, a New York cop who knows nothing about Frankie's real identity. Their surprising friendship, and Tom's growing suspicions, force Frankie to choose between the promise of peace or a lifetime of murder.Written by
Robert Lynch <email@example.com>
The original trailer for the film included a long passage where Tom O'Meara details his sympathy for Frankie the Angel, including his father's murder in front of him when he was a boy and him being targeted by a British agent who has hunted down and killed all of Frankie's IRA cohorts, and then says he wants to bring Frankie into custody unharmed. None of O'Meara's statements appear in the final film. See more »
Frankie idles the trawler's engine just a few yards from the dock prior to Tom's accosting him, yet the boat is in open water when Tom takes the wheel and turns the boat back toward shore. See more »
A shamelessly simplistic film that is offensive in its depiction of the Northern Ireland situation and also a flat and boring piece of "entertainment"
Having become public enemy number one thanks to his murders of RUC, Army and Loyalists alike, Francis McGuire is being hunted by the British Army. With his freedom-fighting brothers being executed by the cruel and ruthless British, Francis has NO CHOICE but to illegally travel to America in order to purchase Stinger missiles from Afghanistan to use them to bring about a United Ireland by blowing up British helicopters. Being put up by family man and cop Tom O'Meara, Francis makes his connections but "they" are closing in on him while Tom also starts to suspect something is up.
In America, many seem to have an idealised view of Northern Ireland and perhaps do lots of things in their minds to justify (or just ignore) the terrorism that occurs there but even Pitt saw this film as "a mess" and "the most irresponsible bit of film-making if you can even call it that that I've ever seen" and trust me when I say that he isn't wrong at all. From the very start, those with any sort of knowledge or understanding of the NI situation will recognise some perversion of facts in the running gun battle that occurs and the way that senior British officers simply execute a prisoner. You could be mistaken for hoping that this was a one-off but the entire film is sympathetic to terrorism and never misses a chance to twist reality, justify it or simplify when it can. In case I'm accused of being a typical Prod and anti-IRA, I would like to point out that terrorism on both sides of the divide is unacceptable and is nothing about "fighting for independence" or any other such wonderful ideals in fact in the past few years the victims are mostly within the groups' own community and the "action" is more about crime such as drugs etc.
It is only slightly interesting to view in this the light of events since 11th September and the recent murder of a catholic man by the IRA over a minor barroom squabble. Can you imagine this film being made about a man from the Middle East who turns to terrorism against the West due to events he witnesses can you imagine such an idea ever being OK'd? Hopefully the recent murders, punishment crimes and the massive bank robbery will have served to show the US that Northern Ireland terrorist groups are no different, regardless of what this film tries to show. The bias and care taken to win the extremist support is even shown in how the film has an entire subplot with Tom's partner and a bad shooting to show how Tom will turn his back on people when it is "the right thing to do" thus in part excusing him for eventually having to take a stand against Francis and, by default, the IRA.
Maybe it is unfair to rip at this film for being totally irresponsible, insulting and truly offensive to me personally and the thousands who have died and the countless who continue to suffer under the self-proclaimed authority of these groups; no, maybe it is unfair to watch this as anything other than the piece of entertainment that it is. However even on this level the film is rubbish; it drags, has no sense of realism, nothing to emotionally involve you in the characters and a total lack of pace. The action is overblown, stupid and lacking excitement; meanwhile the narrative is plodding in both development and delivery.
With all this going on and the rumours of massive onset fights, one could perhaps forgive the cast for being awful but what can't be forgiven is Brad Pitts' accent. It is about the worst I've heard and those who defend it have simply not talked to enough people from Northern Ireland. It's only one of his problems though and he can't make a character that works out of the mess he has been handed. Ford is sturdy and seems to be off in his own little movie for part of the film in fairness he is probably the strongest bit of the film but that isn't saying a lot. Support from Blades, Williams, McElhone and others all comes to nothing and they certainly can do nothing to stop the rot.
Overall this is a terrible film that is not only a poor piece of entertainment but an offensive treatment of a complex situation that involves politics and terrorists. I won't harp on about it but I hope that those who think I'm over the top will stick with me for one more moment. During September 1992 (when the film shows a raging gun battle between the evil army and a band of freedom fighters/IRA) the following people lost their lives in the struggles (ages in brackets): Peter McBride (18), Samuel Rice (30), Charlie Fox (63), Tess Fox (53), Michael Macklin (31), Leonard Fox (50), Gerard O'Hara (18) and Harry Black (27). All of these 8 people were civilians. One of them was a suspected member of a terrorist group and one was a former member of the UVF but the other six had little or no connections (Charlie & Tess Fox were shot because their son was in the IRA). Only one of the 8 was killed by the British Army and, to counter the depiction of the British officer coldly killing the terrorist without any comeback it should be noted that the shooting of McBride by a UK soldier ended with the two soldiers involved being sentenced to life in prison. Be careful of what Hollywood feeds you have your own mind these are real people, not an action movie.
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