A Week In Film #238: Feet under the table

The Sweeney title screen

The Sweeney
Bloody awful reboot, and yet from a promising cast: Ray Winstone, Ben Drew, Damian Lewis, Steven Mackintosh, Steven Waddington. Still, it is a Nick Love joint (if co-storylined by by Danny Boyle cohort Andrew Hodges), so we’re talking fantasy testosterone bollocks in the Outlaw vein – women as an afterthought, like ball-breaking team member Hayley Atwell cuckolding her husband with fat, undesirable slob Jack Regan (personal life impotence balanced by professional life potency as an internal affairs cop, etc).

Really, a mess without almost nothing to recommend it, from its resolutely reactionary subtext through to its pedestrian set pieces; from the pointlessly un-Britishness of such a thoroughly British show (giving the Gilbey Bros a run for their money on that front) to the… Oh, why bother, it’s just awful.

Jack Reacher title screen

Jack Reacher
Pretty decent hardboiled detective thriller-cum-actioner, with Tom Cruise in the lead as the eponymous ex-redcap drawn in to a spree killing investigation (and the shadowy conspiracy underlying it).

Based on a a novel I’d never heard of (One Shot) by a writer I’d never heard of (Lee Child), it’s scripted and directed by someone I have heard of (Chris McQuarrie). Enjoyed the set up, the crunchy unfolding of the plot, and the general tone, but less impressed by the final reel.

Pawn title screen

Pawn
Whilst imperfect, a decent low budget genre piece from debut director David A Armstrong working from barely more experienced screenwriter Jay Anthony White.

The set up: a diner robbery. A ticking clock. Hostages, robbers, cops – but who’s stealing from whom? A decent cast, with attention-grabbing cameos from the likes of Forest Whitaker and Ray Liotta, and solid turns from Stephen Lang, Marton Csokas, Common and Max Beesley(!). Young jobber Sean Faris doesn’t buckle under the pressure in the lead role, while Michael Chiklis is great fun as the bandit leader, despite the ridiculous attempt at a cockney accent.

The saccharine epilogue needed to be chopped, though.

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