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Baker, The


Stars: Damian Lewis, Kate Ashfield, Dyfan Dwyfor, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Michael Gambon, Annette Badland

Director: Gareth Lewis

A would-be Ealing-style charmer. A hit-man (Lewis), failing in his last assignment and weary of his occupation, hides out at an old bakery in a remote Welsh village where someone is blowing up sheep. He falls for the local vet (Ashfield) and decides to be a real baker. Alas, his true occupation is sussed by village idiot Eggs (Dwyfor) and soon half the population is ordering 'chocolate cakes' in the hope of getting rid of unwanted spouses, rivals and enemies in general.

Talented leads Lewis and Ashfield struggle with poor roles, while the fellow hit-man (Coster-Waldau), who's determined to eliminate our hero, turns out to be little more than a figure of fun. It's a mix that, tiresomely silly rather than amusing, sadly fails to rise, and one suspects that, as suggested by the effective action sequences at the start, director Gareth Lewis's (brother of the star) talents may lie outside comedy.

David Quinlan

UK 2006. UK Distributor: Verve (New Line). Fujicolor.
85 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 24 Feb 2008