Film review: Welcome to the Punch
FOR more than a decade, Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels has spawned an array of home-grown crime thrillers awash with dodgy geezers, graphic violence and Cock-er-ney rhyming slang.
If Eran Creevy's heavily stylised Welcome To The Punch is any indication, the wheeling and dealing is moving into Docklands.
Creevy's script arms the characters with snappy one-liners that have become a staple of the genre but he settles most arguments with a fist- or gunfight. Preferably both.
Max Lewinsky (James McAvoy) is an inexperienced yet ambitious detective, who attempts to single-handedly take down notorious criminal Jacob Sternwood (Mark Strong).
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Disobeying orders, Max chases after Jacob without any back-up and is shot in the leg.
Three years later, the gung-ho battle-scarred detective is gifted a chance at redemption.
Welcome To The Punch is an engrossing if somewhat underpowered thriller, hung on a serpentine plot that cocks a snook at the political establishment.
McAvoy and Strong are both solid in highly physical roles, allowing the tears to flow in quieter moments tinged with tragedy and heartache.
Andrea Riseborough is woefully short-changed but makes the most of her limited screen time.