This stylised British crime flick is reminiscent of a typical slick South Korean gangster film. Mostly filmed at night and with a tight as fuck intro the film introduces Jacob Sternwood (Mark Strong) as a super villain with a heart being chased after the fumbling but determined Max Lewinsky (James McAvoy) after an altercation he gets shot in the knee and is left writhing in pain by Strong. Many years later McAvoy is struggling with his hate for Strong and dealing with being an inadequate officer. Teaming up with a young colleague Sarah Hawks (Andrea Riseborough from Byzantium) he starts chasing after Jacob who has been driven out of hiding after his son is injured.
Max catches up to Jacob and his gang who includes the enigmatic Roy (Peter Mullan) and the antics commence. It’s filled with British dark humor and some intense action scenes. The play off between Strong and McAvoy is very brave, starting out as enemies and eventually breaking down boundaries and having to work together showing a lot of character and versatile acting from both.
Slick and Stylish with a dose of dark humor and impressive shootouts, Welcome to the Punch does deliver and very powerful right hook.
A very strong supporting cast is utilised and pushed beyond their best abilities, this film doesn’t have many weak points. I’ve no idea why it didn’t do very well at the cinema!? For me it is more enjoyable than any of the Daniel Craig James Bond movies, and has more personality. There is a superb blend of action, double dealing and corrupt cops and some black humor.
Best scene in the film is when the newly formed gang go to visit one of the bad guys mothers for information and end up holding her hostage without her knowing.. it’s hard to explain but it’s funny as fuck, this old lady is prattling on and Mullan is holding a gun to her head and she doesn’t even notice.
Tons of great stars in this including David Morrissey, Daniel Mays, Jason Flemyng and Johnny Harris, the later can act, despite his fuck up film Monsters 2 (2014).
Full review to come…