|Starring||James McAvoy, Mark Strong, David Morrissey, Andrea Riseborough|
|Release||27 MAR (US) 15 MAR (UK) Certificate 15|
Creevy keeps key plot points close to his chest, while maintaining the sense that a dark conspiracy is at work that threatens to undermine Scotland Yard's inner workings entirely. And in focusing on Max's obsession with catching his One That Got Away, Creevy has created a modern-day, dark and disturbed interpretation of the 90s action hero, complete with bad attitude, out-the-box thinking and shouty boss. Even the dialogue serves as a reminder of that much-loved era, with lines like "I was involved the second they pulled the trigger" all said with a straight face. But given the refreshing context of this film, these clichés are not only forgivable, they're preferable. I wish all my local plods were brutal no-nonsense renegade cops. Although, for the sake of my drunken, traffic-cone-wielding teenage self, I'm grateful that they're not.
If anything, the most questionable element of Welcome To The Punch is its confusing stance on gun control. Any Hollywood-type action flick set in London should address the UK's lack of readily available firepower, and this film cleverly sets as its backdrop the debate as to whether or not our police should be armed. And yet, it doesn't seem to have decided which side of the argument to be on, seemingly saying "guns are bad" and "guns are cool" simultaneously. Plus you have to wonder how, when faced against bullet-blazing criminals, Max can just easily pick any range of pistols and semi-automatic weapons to fight them. Is it even possible in this country for a detective to do that without consequence?
Still, it is an indisputable truth that there is no such thing as 'too many guns' in a film and the fact that the introduction of more and bigger weapons can in any way be considered a niggle just goes to show how otherwise well-accomplished this film is. With stylish slow-mo shoot-outs - whether in a laser quest style empty club or around an old lady's coffee table - the movie achieves everything Creevy desired. It's every bit the kind of stylish, sexy thriller that so often travels over here from the States. And, most importantly, I can't ever remember a time that London looked this exciting. I mean, it's hard to believe its the same place that provided the setting for King Ralph.