Citizen Gangster


FILM: Inspired by true events, this is the story of a disillusioned war vet from WWII who can’t quite get his act together.

The film is loosely based on the story of Edwin Boyd (Scott Speedman) who became one of Canada’s most famous anti-heroes.

The opening sequences quickly establish Boyd as a kind-hearted man with aspirations and a family he is struggling to support.

In an alcohol-inspired moment he robs a bank wearing make-up and soon the papers are calling him the Dashing Bandit.

Through the newspaper reports and radio inserts we hear how the Canadian public are taken by the idea of a polite robber who creates a show, but doesn’t hurt anyone.

He gets caught, and that’s when his life really takes a bad turn.

Set in the 1950s, this is not a New York-style mobster film, and there is very little flash or bling. Gun battles are short and fights are glossed over. It’s more about Boyd’s bad choices.

While the idea may seem close to a film like Public Enemy, this is less about the public’s interaction and idolisation of the main character.

Still, even when the story takes a boring turn because it’s one escape after the next, Speedman manages to keep your attention with the charismatic character he creates.

The surroundings are so drab (it’s grey skies and pastel colours leached of any intensity) and things just never go his way – no wonder he tries to brighten his life.

SPECIAL FEATURES: None. – Theresa Smith