HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Helldriver
One Hour to Zero
Battle of Billy's Pond, The
Terror in Beverly Hills
Zoo Robbery, The
Anoop and the Elephant
Adrift
Never a Dull Moment
McQueen
Ugly Duckling, The
Apostle
Distant Voices, Still Lives
Hereditary
Cup Fever
Peril for the Guy
3 Days in Quiberon
Club, The
Best F(r)iends: Volume 1
Pili
Suspect, The
Baxter!
Dead Night
Thoroughbreds
Ghost and the Darkness, The
Strike Commando
Molly
Full Alert
Up the Academy
Darling Lili
Tehran Taboo
   
 
Newest Articles
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 2
Anytime Anywhere: The Complete Goodies at the BBC Episode Guide Part 1
I-Spy Scotland: The Thirty Nine Steps and Eye of the Needle
Manor On Movies--Black Shampoo--three three three films in one
Manor On Movies--Invasion USA
Time Trap: Last Year in Marienbad and La Jetée
Gaining Three Stone: Salvador, Natural Born Killers and Savages
Right Said Bernard: Cribbins on DVD
1969: The Year Westerns Couldn't Get Past
A Network Horror Double Bill: Assault and Death Line on Blu-ray
   
 
  Welcome to the Punch Leave It AhtBuy this film here.
Year: 2013
Director: Eran Creevy
Stars: James McAvoy, Mark Strong, Andrea Riseborough, Johnny Harris, Daniel Mays, David Morrissey, Peter Mullan, Natasha Little, Daniel Kaluuya, Ruth Sheen, Jason Flemyng, Elyes Gabel, Robert Portal, Jason Maza, Jay Simpson, Seun Shote, Dannielle Brent
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Three years ago there was a major bank heist in central London, and cop Max Lewinsky (James McAvoy) was on the case, tracking the criminals as they had knocked out the guards at the bank with gas and helped themselves to the loot, then escaped on motorcycles with the cash in holdalls on their backs. But Lewinsky pursued them in his car until they tried to shake him off by heading into an underground car park, the barrier to the exit they used being an impediment to his vehicle. With the voice of his superior ringing in his ears over the radio, he ran after them on foot, which proved costly...

If you've ever wondered why British cinema can't quite cut the mustard when it comes to emulating the action cop thrillers of the United States or Hong Kong, it is something of a mystery when the basic guns 'n' geezers genre was so likely to fall back on sub-Guy Ritchie efforts, with even Guy Ritchie committing that sin, which may have been more identifiably from the British Isles but wasn't particularly satisfying unless you wanted an easy accompaniment to your pizza and lager without having to use up too many braincells. Thus Welcome to the Punch should have been a shot in the arm to the nation's thrillers.

It undoubtedly looked the part, and there were plenty of people who on seeing how slick director Eran Creevy could be were very well disposed towards giving this more than a chance, yet as it progressed it became more and more difficult to get on with. It was curious, as it was making all the right moves but proved alienating, so while the Hollywood variations on the detective hunting down the master criminal could be as glossy as a Michael Mann film or as gritty as a Martin Scorsese, in effect Creevy could only fashion what looked like a slavish copy without the substance to back it up. What do you need substance for, you may ask? Did you come away from Bad Boys glad you had so much to chew over?

Probably not, and it was true this was not aiming to be intellectually stimulating or provocative, but then it was very hard to understand what it was getting at as it fell between many stools instead of perching atop one and surveying the possibilities. There was a move towards social relevance which initially appeared to be an endorsement of arming the British bobby on the beat, but then more interestingly admitted that you probably wouldn't want guns to be in the hands of the sort of officers we saw here, what with the rampant corruption and shoot first, ask questions later activities going on. McAvoy gargled with an apparent Essex accent as he struggled with his leg injury, having been shot in the first five minutes by Mark Strong's kingpin Sternwood, so we didn't want the crims with shooters either.

But we assuredly got them, although by the end we were in "Who is the real villain?" clichés as cardboard targets fell away to reveal another revelation of the big bad guy which you would have seen countless times before. Frustratingly, it wasn't all terrible and you could see the potential: some action scenes were appropriately kinetic even if actually hitting someone you're aiming for is a rarity, and the cast set their jaws and were mean and moody enough to suggest a better film in here than you actually got. One sequence stood out in that regard, a truly excellent five minutes where Max, Sternwood and his right hand man (Peter Mullan) show up at the house of the main hitman (Johnny Harris, first place in the Eddie Marsan lookalike contest) and hold his nan (Ruth Sheen) hostage without her realising. This part is a superb piece of tension because you know they're all nasty men to some degree, so it's a matter of who blinks first. That apart, Welcome to the Punch was ambitious enough, but fumbled overall, and that was a pity. Music by Harry Escott.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 887 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Steven Seagal
Pam Grier
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Alexander Taylor
Graeme Clark
Paul Shrimpton
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
  Patrick Keenan
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: