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War on Everyone

4/10

Stars: Alexander Skarsgard, Michael Peņa, Tessa Thompson, Paul Reiser, Theo James, Malcolm Barrett, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephanie Sigman

Director: John Michael McDonagh

This is the buddy-buddy cop movie taken to the extreme. Alas, it represents a step down for its director after the highpoints of The Guard and Calvary.

Even a Steven Seagal DVD has more plot than this, and its two protagonists, cops Bob and Terry (Peņa, Skarsgard), are as dislikable as they come, crashing into cars with as much finesse as they show when barging into bad guys' strongholds.

Chief among the villains, who are just as violent but only marginally worse than B & T, are an English lord, Mangan (James) and his gay sidekick Russell Birdwell (who seems to be named after a famous old Hollywood publicist and is played by Landry Jones), who are into some kind of big-time crime and enjoy slicing victims' heads off with a Samurai sword.

Even when they are (deservedly) kicked off the force, B & T, who make the Blues Brothers look adorable, are determined to take these mothers down.

There's a girl (Thompson) and a boy (Barrett) whose mother killed her husband, but they're token disposable additions to a film that finds precious little personality of its own, grabbing bits here and there from previous films.

Still, even in a movie that exists for its mechanical, amoral action, there are two or three funny moments. Told by the gruesome twosome that one of his officers is a big fat racist pig, their chief Gerry Stanton (Reiser) retorts: 'This is the police department. We're surrounded by big, fat racist pigs.'

David Quinlan

Ireland/UK/Iceland/Germany 2016. UK Distributor: Icon. Colour by deluxe.
98 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 2, Swearing 3.

Review date: 02 Oct 2016