Film Review: Welcome to the Punch

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From Writer/Director Eran Creevy, better known for his 2008 crime drama Shifty, comes a slick looking British thriller in the form of Welcome to the Punch.

When ex-con Jacob Sternwood (Strong) returns to London from his hideout in the Icelandic wilderness, due to his son being involved in a heist that goes wrong, policeman Max Lewinsky (McAvoy), seizes the opportunity to finally get his nemesis, who he let slip through his hands a few years before. But as they face off, the two unravel a deeper conspiracy in which the both of them need to solve to keep in existence.

This is an ambitious picture, which starts off strong but kind of runs out of steam, even with a intense final act. The plot revelations are somewhat obvious and are too common from this sort of thriller, which makes them have little impact when they are finally reveled. The film’s strengths come in the way Creevy directs the action scenes, creating a sense chaos in what is potentially a ordinary shoot-out; secondly the cinematography plays a big part in making this film watchable, which is all credit to director of photography Ed Wild, who’s slick visuals make up for the standard narrative.

X-Men: First Class star James McAvoy gives the stand out performance as the tormented Max Lewinsky, followed closely by Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy star, Mark Strong, as his tormentor Jacob Sternwood.  Daniel Mays and David Morrissey play Max’s superior officers Bartnick and Geiger. One to watch is London to Brighton star Johnny Harris who plays disgraced ex-soldier Dean Warns; I feel with the performance he gave in this film we may see more of him soon.  With clever camerawork and stunning visuals this film is entertaining, but nowhere near a classic, as a weak screenplay lets this one down.

Director:  Eran Creevy
Cast: Andrea Riseborough, Daniel Mays, David Morrissey, James McAvoy, Mark Strong, Peter Mullan
Runtime: 100 mins
Cert UK: 15
 

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