HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Richard III The Killer
Year: 1995
Director: Richard Loncraine
Stars: Ian McKellen, Annette Bening, Jim Broadbent, Robert Downey Jr, Nigel Hawthorne, Kristin Scott Thomas, John Wood, Maggie Smith, Jim Carter, Edward Hardwicke, Adrian Dunbar, Dominic West, Tim McInnerny, Bill Paterson, Denis Lill, Michael Elphick
Genre: Drama, WarBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: The United Kingdom in the nineteen-thirties, but not as history quite recalls it, as the King and his army have been struck down by the forces of York, and Edward (John Wood) has taken the throne, although he is not in the best of health. The man who shot the previous monarch is Edward's brother, Richard (Ian McKellen), and he has plans of his own, plans which he does not share with many people so you should feel privileged that he takes you into his confidence. After making a rousing speech at a celebratory dance, he ends up alone, plotting and plotting, informing us that he will not rest until he has the crown himself...

For many years, the definitive screen interpretation of William Shakespeare's most celebrated villain, Richard III, was Laurence Olivier's in his 1955 version of the play, but forty years later there arrived a different reading, one which, though not as widely seen, was at least the equal of Olivier's. This was a pet project of Sir Ian McKellen's, and to bring this adaptation, which he co-scripted with director Richard Loncraine, to the screen took a lot of work, all of which paid off as the finished production was something most would agree was highly imaginative and rather marvellous.

For a start, the setting is inspired. It takes the old science fiction concept of a parallel world and runs with it, translating the Bard's drama to a Britain that is suffering under the yoke of fascism: here it is not only Germany which is struggling with the Nazis, as Richard and his allies are fulfilling the same role in their own country. You get the impression that this Richard is not so much obsessed with becoming supreme ruler, as taking down the world which he abhors, leaving the dead bodies of the powerful strewn in his wake and the nation, the world even, in as much turmoil as he can possibly bring down upon its heads.

In this version, the script is streamlined from Shakespeare, so if you know the play inside out then you will be noticing what's missing and what has been altered, but unlike other films drawn from literature, this should not rankle too much with the purists. Why? Because it's so gleefully smart about what it does, crediting the audience with the intelligence to see how clever its being without descending into unwanted, obnoxious smugness. Much of this is thanks to McKellen: he may give himself the meatiest role, but he allows you to see there was nobody who could have carried this off any better than he.

It's a tremendous performance, humorous, sly, and calculating but never letting Richard's twisted humanity get away from him. The other members of an excellent cast do well to keep up with him, with a good many seizing their chances to shine when the spotlight falls on them, but really this is Sir Ian's show all the way. Working up a sense of decadence and decay that the new broom of Richmond (Dominic West) would do well to sweep away, not only does the film have Richard happy to execute his closest allies as well as those in the way to his kingdom, but will also see him relaxing with photographs of the recently put to death or turning into a man-boar during a nightmare sequence. With all this and a rally out of thirties Nuremberg and Lady Anne (Kristin Scott Thomas) injecting herself with heroin to get through the coronation, you cannot say it was not audacious, and you cannot say you do not relish every frame of Richard's wickedness. Music by Trevor Jones.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4712 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Richard Loncraine  (1946 - )

Capable British director who moves between film and television. Slade movie Flame was his first credit, then horror Full Circle and Dennis Potter adaptation Brimstone and Treacle were next. Michael Palin comedy The Missionary and the superb version of Shakespeare's Richard III were well received, as was his TV drama about Winston Churchill, The Gathering Storm. He then had a hit with romantic Britcom Wimbledon.

 
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
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: