Friday, August 26, 2011
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.)