DVD London Boulevard

DVD London Boulevard
Run time: 103 min
Rating: 6.3
Genres: Crime | Drama
Director: William Monahan
Writers: William Monahan, Ken Bruen
Stars: Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, Ray Winstone
Storyline
Fresh out of prison, Mitchel wants nothing to do with crime but accepts a kip from Billy, a marginal grafter, and accompanies Billy on rent collection trips. He’s also old school, wanting revenge on two youths for assaulting a mendicant he’s befriended. He’s got a strung-out sister to protect, and he’s offered a job protecting a famous actress from paparazzi. The plot lines join when Michael finds himself attracted to the actress and Billy’s Mob boss, Gant, finds ways to force Michael work for him. He also warns Michael off revenge against the assailants of his friend. What are Michael’s options: is there any way to avoid Gant, protect his sister, and find a path to love? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>
Plot Keywords: actress, revenge, love, london underground, paparazzi
Details:
Country: USA, UK
Release Date: 26 November 2010 (UK)
Box Office
Budget: $25,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $3,431 (USA) (11 November 2011)
Gross: $10,484 (USA) (18 November 2011)

4 Comments

  1. In a lot of ways, this is a puzzling movie. Every single element of it is so right, so how does it end up being so completely uninvolving that I ended up nearly falling asleep halfway through? The problem isn't the casting; Colin Farrell makes a hell of a gangster, all smouldering machismo stomping through the streets of London. And with a supporting cast that includes Eddie Marsan (sleazy), David Thewlis (sleazier) and Ben Chaplin (sleaziest, and very, very good), Farrell has some excellent support. Ray Winstone has never been scarier, but of all people it's Anna Friel who takes the acting honours as Farrell's sister, a woman who out-sleazes Marsan, Thewlis and Chaplin combined.

    The problem isn't the locations, or how true to life they are. I lived in London for a long time, and I've rarely seen the city depicted better, all back streets and alleyways with nasty bastards lurking around every grubby corner. Considering the film's writer and director William Monahan is from Boston, I was worried that this might be the tourist's eye view of London, but that really isn't the case. The film positively drips with atmosphere, and the expletive-heavy dialogue rings true.

    And yet it all sits there, lifeless on the screen, a collection of images and characters that seem only vaguely related to one another. It doesn't help that the main plot – will Farrell become a proper gangster, or will he end up with Keira Knightley's way-too-good-for-him actress – is hardly new. But that doesn't have to be a deal breaker, and there are plenty of interesting minor characters to pass the time.

    The problem is really that the film feels rushed. Those minor characters aren't given nearly enough time – Marsan gets three scenes, none of them remotely important to the plot, and even Anna Friel doesn't get a lot to do. She's still better off than Stephen Graham and Sanjeev Bhaskar, great actors who are cast in completely pointless roles that could have been played by anyone. And so much of this movie feels tacked on, from the dozen or so subplots, to Winstone's pointless murder of the wrong man halfway through, to the stalker, obviously based on Mark David Chapman, who makes several ominous appearances and is then dismissed in a single line of dialogue.

    If some subplots and characters are pointless, though, the ending made me feel that way about the whole damn film. Without giving too much away, it's a horrible, limp lettuce of an ending, with none of the resonance that the film-makers clearly thought it had achieved. That's the film in a nutshell – it wanted to be profound, but ended up as a giant 'so what?'

  2. It just kills me that once again I had the (un)fortunate chance to trust someone with an answer to a simple "Is it any good?" question. People all around me were bashing this movie before I watched it and I heard so many things. I heard it stole the plot from Carlito's Way, I heard the ending was disappointing, I even read comments like "Keira Knightley has no tits and less talent". The only thing I'm disappointed of is myself for believing all of these s… tuff. Yet I'm kind of glad I read and heard all the negative responses, because it caught me off guard even more than it probably would've if I'd seen it without somebody's thoughts.

    The acting and script were superb. Knightley's performances almost made my heart skip a beat, Farrel's teeth grinding and weird expressions got me all worked up about his problems, Winstone was giving me the creeps and Thewlis got me laughing out of my breath. "I'm an actor – I can feel anything about anything". Great script, superb acting – if you're a fan of one of the actors in here, a fan of British cinema, a fan of the crime genre or a fan of quality pictures in general – this is the movie for you. Oh and remember – when it comes to art and judgement – trust ONLY yourself! You owe it to yourself to go see this movie! 10/10

  3. The movie had promise – directed by The Departed's writer William Monahan and starring an eclectic bunch of British stars Colin Farrell, Keira Knightly, Ray Winstone, David Thewlis and Anna Friel. Even Eddie Marsan, Stephen Graham and Ben Chaplin make appearances.

    Unfortunately despite a snazzy score and a stylish flourish, this movie is nothing more than a collection of London gangster movie clichés and stereotypes with an obvious script written by an unauthentic source. The characters can all be labelled with a single word (villain, victim, druggie etc), bereft of any depth or colour.

    Farrell plays Mitchell, fresh from prison and determined to go straight, within half-an-hour, he has been offered a choice of two jobs. One working as a debt collector for tough and possibly homosexual (who cares?) gangland boss (Winstone, who else) and the other protecting a damaged & shy actress (Knightly). Needless to say, Winstone doesn't take kindly to being refused and sets his sights on hurting Mitchell as revenge (hasn't he got better things to do?) The movie doesn't ring true at every juncture and the only pleasure the viewer grab, is when watching Thewlis's thinly veiled Withnail impression or with the music on show.

    Do yourself a favour and watch Layer Cake instead.

  4. This film was brimming with potential, an adept cast, some stylish directing & gritty yet beautiful set locations. However some of the story & the actions taken by its characters were implausible, & most of its ideas didn't develop effectively on screen.

    Recently released gangster Colin Farrell meets a young female friend of reclusive celebrity actor Kiera Knightly & offers him a job protecting her from intrusive paparazzi. He shows up for work & What feels like a scene or two later they have (unconvincingly) fallen in love. parallel to this Farrels character is finding it hard to escape his past & is soon roped into a feud with gangster boss Ray Winstone. He is now faced with the dilemma of either returning to his previous nature or beginning a life of new found love in LA.

    All this is played out with some very stylish moments, such as the dialogue between Winstone & Farrel in the restaurant or the artistic but realistic way in which the environment is captured. All the acting is well done & Its accompanied by a great soundtrack, but a huge amount of the script feels rushed & underdeveloped. As a whole it is entertaining if not taken to seriously but may not appeal to any serious film enthusiast.

    I also felt that the ending of this film was brave but what I had seen prior to it lacked enough substance or attachment to make it stick & I think I would have been more satisfied with a conventional ending.

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