director: Eran Creevy
writer: Eran Creevy
starring: James McAvoy, Mark Strong and Andrea Riseborough
genre: Action | Crime
released: March 27, 2013 (U.S.)
What are the most important features to any action film? Star power, loads of action, cool shots, a thumping soundtrack and possibly a great dichotomy between hero and villain. In those terms you'll have had all you needed to finally see a decent action film this year. Where the protagonist isn't a super god that can't get hurt or a film that can't control its tendency to enter areas of the inconceivable and mess up its action beyond imagination.
A young cop named Max Lewinsky (James McAvoy) had the chance of the lifetime in taking down mega criminal Jacob Sternwood (Mark Strong), but he blew it. Years later their paths will intertwine once more. As Sternwood's son is under investigation for a felony and mixed up with some very nasty people. Its up to Sternwood to find a way to get his kid out of trouble and for detective Max to see how Sternwood and his kid connect to the recent crime wave of gunshot victims in London and the bigger picture at play.
What sets this film apart from the usual bunch of filler action thrillers and cop dramas. Is its style, finesse and execution. It has an incredible and thumping soundtrack, two actors that are some of the best that Britain can show off and action scenes that whenever present are smart, creative and once again overtly stylistic, but with enough style and effort that they don't feel out of place. These elements are in essence what makes a simple action flick turn into enjoyable & action-packed ride.
Having said that, the rest of the film courses itself down the usual paths of the crime genre. All starting with a small mystery of cops being equally as sinister as the villains and a plot bigger than the protagonist's pay grade. By that we can at least say that the plot is sensible and never really goes into far fetched territory. Nor does it pressure on to us fake romances and illogical sentimentalities which would bore and annoy us.
aturally this film wouldn't have been at all unique if it wasn't for its relatively known director Eran Creevy to have eloquently planned out the action sequences and put enough effort into making the many action shots so highly stylistic. The film in a manner of speaking could be seen as a demo piece for future Hollywood projects. So don't be surprised to hear one day the tagline from the man who made "Welcome to the Punch" comes. Because we've seen similar beginning before with big name directors such as Rupert Wyatt and Matthew Vaughn being the best examples.
This is just what the doctor prescribed. An action flick with intense scenery, stylized direction, commanding performances and a rocking score that fits perfectly with the action. It may not be your run of the mill action film for the ages, but for the time being it will do.