Writer/Director: Kieron Hawkes
Running time: 102 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18
UK Release date: 4th May 2012
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 19th May 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This is one of those films I heard about on the BBC Radio 4 Film Programme. It’s a bit of an ‘arty’ film show that tends to focus more on British and art-house films. Even so, I’m always interested in what they have to say and this one came quite highly recommended. As usual, I watched it without looking at any reviews or scores on various web sites and I was surprised when I came to write my review just how poorly it had been received! I found it a lot better than the scores would have you believe; it’s far from prefect, but it’s certainly better than the 1/10 that Rotten Tomatoes seems to think it deserves! But I digress, here’s a very brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
Joe (Martin Compston) is a shy young man living and working in London. He idolises his big brother John (Neil Maskell) who looks out for him. But his world falls apart when John is killed by a gang of men who he had been having a spot of trouble with in a local pub. Joe is devastated and even Clair (Louise Dylan), a friend, can’t console him. Enter Piggy (Paul Anderson), who claims to be an old friend of John’s from school. He takes Joe under his wing and teaches him all about life in the big city; how to avoid trouble and how to cope should the need arise. Piggy wants to help Joe in other ways too (no, not like that), he wants to give Joe his revenge for his brother. To this end they begin to track down the five men responsible. One by one Piggy takes his revenge as Joe watches on; but what effect is all this having on Joe? How will this change him?
I found this very dark with extreme levels of violence, For the most part the acts of violence are not actually shown on the screen, they are alluded to enough to make you cringe though. Great performances all round, particularly from Paul Anderson; he played the part superbly! Martin Compston wasn’t all that bad either! As revenge thrillers go, this may not be the best, but it’s certainly one of the darkest I’ve seen in a long time. Maybe it’s just too dark and that’s the trouble with it; I found myself looking at my watch in places which is never a good sign. Certainly worth seeing for Paul Anderson’s performance but definitely not one for the squeamish.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED (Just)
My score: 5.9/10.
IMDb Score: 5.2/10 (based on 254 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: No Data: (Based on 0 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 37/100 (based on 60 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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