Style that still lets the bride shine...
DIRECTOR : Steven Knight
CAST: Jason Statham, Agata Buzek, Vicky McClure, |Benedict Wong
CLASSIFICATION: 16 LV
RUNNING TIME: 105 minutes
Beautifully lit, this moody thriller about human trafficking is totally let down in the script department.
It is a Jason Statham actioner, so we aren’t expecting Shakespeare in terms of dialogue, or a Nolan-esque convoluted plot, but come on.
Clearly, a serious amount of money went into this production, so couldn’t anyone have sprung for a script tinkerer? Producer, director and writer Luc Besson is always up for a challenge and goodness knows he is always good when you throw cars into a city.
Of course, Statham climbs in a car in this one. He plays an ex-special forces guy who goes awol and becomes a drunk on the streets of London.
He literally falls into an unoccupied flat and tries to pull his life together by becoming a driver to a Chinese gangster. There is an intriguing scene in which the gangsters are discussing hiring a white guy because none of their family members is interested in joining the business and their junior gang members have never killed anyone.
But then it starts getting all clichéd again as Statham goes around beating up people and flirting with a nun. Yes, a real nun. And he’s Catholic. But, don’t worry, there’s not a lot of guilt floating around. Or any sort of interrogation of character, or maybe a bit of soul-searching.
What we do get are the flashes of London’s seedy underbelly versus the beautiful lights floating on Canary Wharf and the moneyed places around Covent Garden. The London gangsters and their rackets are different from those in the US, but you are not really going to get any major exploration of that from this film.
Statham is trying hard here, and there was scope for either creating an interesting character or an intriguing story line (Eastern Promises showed both are possible in the same film), but between the short bursts of bone-breaking and the even shorter bursts of pseudo soul-searching (we can hope that is what the badly handled hallucinating scenes were) it just doesn’t happen.
We already know Statham can do the steely gaze and break heads with ease, so someone throw the man a better script already.
If you liked Blitz or Punch you will like this.