One of the year’s bigger budgeted UK productions has been released with ‘Shifty’ director Eran Creevy’s ‘WELCOME TO THE PUNCH‘, with (deep breath) James McAvoy, Mark Strong, Andrea Riseborough, David ‘The Governor’ Morrissey, Peter ‘Tyrannosaur’ Mullan, (playing the same role as he did in ‘Ashes to Ashes’) Daniel Mays, ‘Johnny English: Reborn’ and ‘Black Mirror”s Daniel Kaluuya and Jason Flemyng!
To begin with it must be noted that this could possibly be the most stylish action genre pick of this year. The cinematography is just beautiful (particuly from someone still starting out in the biz). The film has an almost Gun Metal sheen to it, that and the way London is shot shits on the very similar (as well as the rest of the film in every other way) ‘The Sweeney’, which made London (a landmark which can be shot in many different ways) look like ‘The Apprentice: Midnight Edition’.
This style does however go over the content of the story, (which lends a lot from ‘Infernal Affairs 2’ and other Hong Kong/John Woo action cinema), in regards to you know how the film will resolve around the midway point and how the main characters do a lot of out-of-character motives which are not fully explained or too convincing. That and general plotting about Police corruption does get a little muddled. That and while like Hong Kong action cinema its presents itself as a Face- Off between McAvoy and Strong, when really it isn’t. Some fans of Creevy’s ‘Shifty’ might not like the less personal touch to this.
But this should not undermined the experience, this is a young filmmaking just trying to find his feet in the action genre, and it good to see a film which knows what it wants to be, do and contribute to its genre.