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Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Review: Welcome To the Punch

Title: Welcome to the Punch
Cast:
James McAvoy - Max Lewinsky
Mark Strong - Jacob Sternwood
Andrea Riseborough - Sarah Hawks
Writer: Eran Creevy
Director: Eran Creevy
Summary: Max Lewinsky is a police officer in London and three years ago he almost caught Jacob Sternwood, top criminal single handedly. It almost cost him his career and when Sternwood, now retired, is forced to return to the UK because his son is involved in a shooting, Max is there to try and catch him. However, there are deeper things going on and nothing is quite so straightforward.

I read one review of this that said it was incoherent, but I have no idea what film they were watching. You have to pay attention, but that's because the story has details and makes perfect sense. I loved this film and can't wait for the blu-ray release.

One of the things I really liked about this movie, is it is a film all about guns and yet it sends the message that being unarmed is actually safer. Part of the plot is a politician trying to get support for London police officers to be armed, but the only reason Max is alive for most of the movie is because at the beginning he was unarmed. He also spends most of the film without a gun even though everyone else seems to have one. I thought it was brilliantly done.

James McAvoy plays Max Lewinsky, who, in the first few scenes is a fiery young police officer desperate to take down Jacob Sternwood, master criminal.

It doesn't go so well.

Three years later we meet a police officer who is good at his job, but who is toeing the line and not causing waves.

James does an absolutely superb job of showing us both sides of Max's character. Then, as the film goes on we see the old Max coming forth again, and boy can he kick arse when he wants to. He is brilliant as ever and gives us the complexities of Max as well as his failings. Also can I just take a shallow moment to say that James also looks very fine throughout this film :).

The second lead, Jacob Sternwood is also played brilliantly by Mark Strong. Left is how we see him at the beginning of the film as the sharp criminal, right is how we see him throughout most of the movie as the desperate father.

He is a bad guy; he shoots people, but he's also rather likeable and not as psychotic as the "evil bad guy" (as my brain kept referring to him), Warns. I suppose Sternwood is the gentleman theif where as Warns is the thug.

The third performance I want to talk about is Andrea Riseborough as Sarah. Sarah is Max's partner and exactly how he used to be before his tangle with Sternwood. She is strong, competent and calls Max on his shit as well as being the only one willing to support him against his dick of a colleague (and it's most annoying because I can't remember his name and IMDB don't have it).

There is a perfect moment between Sarah and Max that displays the depth of feeling they have for each other, but neither of them is willing to step over the line.

This film starts with a car chase, who could possibly not give it points for that. It's not a car chase sort of film mostly, but the one at the beginning is great. Interesting and not too long, just the way I like them :). It's not a big explosions kind of film either, but what it does have is some great gun battles. Three stand out in my head and they are all superbly put together.

There is a fast pace, good dialogue, great acting, superb plot and stunning visuals; this is a great film. It's even darkly funny in places, which is just brilliant. I can't recommend it more.

So, that is the end of my review, but I just have to add, be still my slashy little heart. Oh my, the fanfic vibes I got off this. Max and Sternwood have this staring into each others' eyes moment at the end of the film, admittedly over a gun, but it just fired every fanfic button I had. It's like Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, or Loki and Tony Stark; it just screams, we are enemies and yet we should be kissing madly :). See below and tell me I am wrong.


The trailer for those who are interested:

4 comments:

  1. sounds just like my kind of movie! I usually don't like action movies unless they have humor and this sounds like on of those rare great action movies!

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    1. It is great. The humour is sparse and mostly towards the end, it's quite serious other than that, but there were a couple of laugh out loud moments. I found it a great movie because the action didn't out weigh the plot. I could go an watch it again right now :).

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  2. I've seen this film mentioned before. I haven't seen it yet, but I've heard good things about it. I would like to see it to see how James McAvoy is since I've not seen him in anything since the first Narnia. Also, Mark Strong makes such a convincing villain, any movie would likely be worth to see with him as a bad guy in it.

    I might have to go with you as far as brains. Indy does have a few more then O'Connell.
    You are the first person I've met who likes The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I didn't like it as much as the third, which is my favourite, but it ties with the first with me, which I like almost as much as the third. My reason for liking the third so much better then the others, naturally, comes from the fact that Sean Connery was in it.

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    1. James McAvoy is a superb actor, he really is. I'm going to be raving about him and his work for J from the AtoZ Challenge next month :). And yes, Mark Strong is brilliant as well. They play off each other very well.

      I thought the ending of the Crystal Skull was a little iffy - I did go 'oh bugger, they really are going with the aliens', but I thought it was a good film. It's silly in places, like the whole fridge moment, but then it's fantasy so who cares :). I like Raiders and Last Crusade about the same I think - it took me ages to open my eyes at the ark scene ;) Sean Connery is indeed a legend :).

      Thank you so much for dropping by.

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