Thursday, 28 February 2013

Glasgow Film Festival 2013 Review: WELCOME TO THE PUNCH

Executive producer Ridley Scott’s presence is immediately felt with an opening credits title reveal which instantly recalls that of Alien. Unfortunately that is about the only place it is felt in director Eran Creevy’s follow up to impressive lo-fi geezer drama Shifty. The canvas is broader and it certainly makes headway towards rivalling its American counterparts, but Welcome to the Punch is a glossy British crime thriller that feels like Michael Mann's Heat turned down to Gas Mark 3.

Where Creevy must be applauded is in crafting a relatively lean thriller that not only looks stylish with its depiction of London bathed in a steel blue neon glow, but has its fair share of nicely handled action set pieces. There is a finely tuned sense of what makes an image dynamic and it plays with visual motifs throughout.

Lacking the profundity and underlying depth of other underworld dramas, everything here is surface level. It isn’t always a problem when that surface is so highly polished but it is missing a vital ingredient: characters we can invest in and get behind. With a slick running time of just over ninety minutes, there is never time to delve into what drives our lead characters. It keeps feeling pressured to hit that next action beat.

The full review is continued over at STV's website.


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