Who would have thought it possible? A shoot-em-up with serious soul. Writer/director David Gleeson's decision to offer Dublin-based heist-movie THE FRONT LINE as his attempt to build on the promise shown in his debut, COWBOYS & ANGELS, might initially have smacked of the formulaic. But the good news is that the end product bristles with freshness and cinematic sophistication.
There's nothing new about a heist movie with a hard edge, but THE FRONT LINE comes with a hard edge and considerable heart.
Convincing performances and visually strong production values ensure the thriller aspect of the first half will bring you to the edge of the seat. Unlike so many comparable efforts, however, THE FRONT LINE gives you something to think about when you get there.
Just as it seems inevitable that entertainment levels will flag, disturbing revelations about Joe's true identity elevate proceedings to an absorbing consideration of that most fertile of territories for great art the sometimes thin line between the divine and the depraved.
Ebouaney and McSorley are strikingly good in the central roles, and while some of the observances about Dublin-based gangsters seem a tad far-fetched, this is but a minor quibble.
Gleeson has delivered a terrific film that reminds us what big screens were made for.
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