(Review originally written at 10 December 2008)

No, this by no means is the most dreadful movie I have ever seen, not even by a mile but it also is however a movie that made a totally pointless and not lasting impression on me.

Perhaps the biggest problem of this movie is that it can't decide what it wants to be. Its story and somewhat its storytelling is obviously inspired by the first 'new age' British gangster flick "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" but yet the movie also has the rawness and more seriousness of the '70's British gangster flicks, such as for instance "Get Carter", which not entirely coincidently so also stars Michael Caine. The movie just doesn't know to create a well enough balance between its comedy and violence/crime because of this. Therefore the movie simply does not work out.

The story is all over the place because of it that it tries to be clever, while in fact it really isn't. The plot twists, such as the one at the end, feel more weak and ridicules, rather than surprising. Also most characters really don't work out within the movie, due to its approach. For instance what's the point of having Oscar-winner Martin Landau in this if you don't know to use him properly.

But I must say that the movie is still made watchable because of one simple reason; Michael Caine. It's a role that is very typical for him and that he suits so very well. He was good in those kind of roles 30 years ago and he's still good at it now. He plays a tough ruthless boxing promoter, with questionable motives and friends, who also happens to have a son who is on his way of becoming the next big man of boxing. An over ambitious proud father, with a shady past and present is a combination that of course calls for trouble. And trouble he gets within this movie. Do we care however? I don't think so. "Shiner" is a very uninvolved movie with a too weak script to let this movie ever rise above the level of average.

A movie you can really easily do without.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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