Written by Brian Molko
Performed by Placebo See more »
Nothing of interest to say but says it in an empty, angry way as it goes after the target male audience
Bryant returns from the Iraq war one of many burnt out veterans to find his wife gone off with another man and yobs hanging around in the street. Gene Dekker meanwhile gets beaten up in the street (an English street dear viewer!) by thugs after a minor fender bender. Barrister Cedric Munroe however, losing his wife and unborn baby after criminals from the gang of violent overlord Manning send a warning for him to back off the prosecution of their boss.
There is an interesting film in here somewhere and certainly the time to try and find it would be now. Whether it is reality or perception, there is the feeling that lawlessness is rife and that the police are powerless to stop it. Whether it is yobs on the street, rudeness, robbers suing victims, paedophiles living beside schools or whatever, the Daily Mail has never had it so good with plenty of hand-wringing to be done at every turn. Even recently two "ordinary" people have died in different places when they attempted to stop youths or criminals doing something surely it is only right to stand up to such behaviour. Well yes and no and it is an interesting question but with Outlaw the questions are either answered before we begin or are just ignored in favour of a simple narrative.
For that is what is served up here in a script that never really challenges the audience and seems to be keen to serve the target audience of those attracted to a story about men standing up to injustice, without actually being brave enough to just come out and say "hanging's too good for 'em". This is seen in the "turmoil" that the group goes through, with some all to happy to kill the wrong doers, while others just want to beat the sh1t out of them you know, the type of complex morality questions that really trouble the mind. Such as it is the script never gets into this aspect of it and indeed if there is a conclusion, it is that vigilantism is the only way to go if you want results.
Having seen other films from love, I am willing to accept that he has written a dramatic script that has no interest in the wider questions but is just using the situation as a setting. As weak as an excuse as that is, following this line of reasoning still left me with a film that didn't engage, excite or interest me. As writer Love did not produce any characters, scenarios or questions that I cared about. As director he seems to be frantically trying to make his drama have the grit and reality that his script lacks but he has decided to do it by doing an poor man's impression of Paul Greengrass by having a child nudge the cameraman throughout shooting. It worked for Bourne but here it just annoyed me and seemed like just a stolen idea rather than a style that helped the film.
The cast offered substance and I would have liked to see some of them actually served with good characters. Bean and James in particular are capable of more and maybe they thought they would get it when they signed up. Both have a good presence but neither really has anything of value to get into. Dyer does his usual stuff but, considering his character is more or less the heart of the film, he does not connect with anything. Hoskins is a good catch for this name but his character is just an easy angry copper.
Overall then, what did this film offer to me? Well not a great deal. Despite a topical and controversial subject matter, there is nothing to think about or challenge the viewer as Love just hammers home a simple dramatic script without the heart to go for blood whole-hog or conversely risk upsetting his loyal male audience by being reflective or thoughtful. Could have been interesting. Wasn't.
13 of 23 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this