By: Henry J. Fromage (Three Beers) –
Director Jonathan Glazer obviously draws a lot of inspiration from Guy Ritchie and other Brit heist films. The storyline and a lot of the stylistic flair are very similar, but this one goes some interesting new places. Ray Winstone plays a retired bank thief who is being leaned on to do another heist, well after his “one last job”. When an enforcer played by Ben Kingsley shows up, things get interesting.
Betcha didn’t guess this interesting
The acting is uniformly excellent. Winston and Ian McShane of Deadwood fame do great jobs, but the real virtuoso here is Kingsley. His performance is full of seething, raging volatility and the undercurrent of menace to his fast-talking, hilariously profane demeanor is truly frightening. This might his career-best performance, and it’s crazy to think that it shares the same actor as 1982’s Gandhi.
He will cut you
While it is slow-building, particularly for those expecting something exactly on the same lines as Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, it does build up to a climax of Kingsley and Winstone’s showdown intercut with the heist that is as good as anything in the genre. When you mix in some Donnie Darko-style dreams and some questions about existence itself, you have a pretty heady brew.
Well, there’s the title scene…
Outside of that, when it comes to slow-building, this one strays a little bit more into the ‘too’ than the ‘just a little’ side of things. It feels a lot longer than its 89 minute running time, and that’s not exactly a good thing, especially when Kingsley’s not around to chew up scenes.
I actually watched this movie with the subtitles on. It is in English. The accents of just about everybody stress Cockney to the point that they’re almost unintelligible unless you just crawled out of a London sewer pipe.
Cor blimey if tweren’t the trubba, ya rottah!
You might want to use subtitles, but if you like movies like Snatch or Layer Cake with a little extra existential flair, it’s worth your time.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time Ben Kingsley threatens someone
Take a Drink: for each appearance of the freaky rabbit thing
Drink Continuously: while Ray Winstone wears a speedo