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- Promise, The
- Belko Experiment, The
- Finding Fatimah
- Free Fire
- Their Finest
- Fast & Furious 8
- Hatton Garden Job, The
- Boss Baby, The (3D)
- Autopsy of Jane Doe, The
- Lost City of Z, The
- City of Tiny Lights
- Quiet Passion, A
- Void, The
- Man Down
- Ghost in the Shell (3D)
Welcome to the Punch
Stars: James McAvoy, Andrea Riseborough, Mark Strong, David Morrissey, Peter Mullan, Daniel Mays, Johnny Harris, Jason Flemyng
Director: Eran Creevy
This well-made if flashy thriller is tough to follow, but contains lots of violent action and comes across as a British answer to kind of stuff Sly and Arnie make across the Atlantic.
It's certainly hi-tech compared to the director's previous - and superior - crime drama, Shifty, with crisp, noirish, steely-blue photography and some rather daft mass shoot-outs, which suppose high-profile but corrupt cops blasting away with Kalashnikovs at an unholy alliance of crooks and an honest cop.
He's Max (McAvoy), who we first meet three years earlier, obsessed with catching much-wanted master thief Jake Sternwood (Strong). Against orders Max tackles Jake and his three accomplices on his own at the aftermath of their latest heist, only for Sternwood to throw him to the ground and shatter his kneecap with a bullet.
Flash forward, and Max is morosely limping round police HQ, now with a female partner (Riseborough), but as averse to orders as ever, and still determined to nab Sternwood, who has hi-tailed it to Iceland. Max's superiors (Morrissey, Mays) bungle the subsequent attempt to capture the crook, who flees back to London on hearing that his son has been badly wounded in a gunfight.
That, and Max's pursuit of his man, uncovers a web of corruption involving police and politicians that leads to both cop and crook becoming marked men.
Performances are pretty good, especially Mullan as Strong's ex-partner, and McAvoy's a more vulnerable hero than those on the other side of the pond. It's reasonable if unlikely action fare.
UK 2012. UK Distributor: Momentum. Colour by deluxe.
101 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.
Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.
Review date: 12 Mar 2013