Friday, August 26, 2011

Brighton Rock


Going in, I had absolutely no idea what this film was about, but right from the start I got that tingling sensation that what I was about to see was going to be something special.  It had great atmosphere, a stylish retro look, a top notch British cast, and the distinct air of mystery, suspense, and crime.  But sadly it was downhill from there.

Based on a novel by Graham Greene, the story had already been adapted in 1947 starring Sir Richard Attenborough.  This version features Sam Riley as a young gangster who marries a woman he doesn't love to keep himself out of prison because she witnessed him commit a crime.  The supporting cast is great, including John Hurt, Helen Mirren, and Andy Serkis, but unfortunately it just doesn't go anywhere of interest.  Ultimately this just seemed like a worse than average program you might happen upon on the BBC, but with a bit more style and a slightly better cast.  It's really a disappointment relative to its potential.  You're better off with a double feature of 'Brighton Beach Memoirs' and 'The Rock' (he says, only slightly in jest.)

Grade: C+

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