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Well, what to say about a movie that's trying to be more than it in fact truly is. I liked it good enough for what it was but the movie obviously tried to be more. It thought it was "Heat", while the movie in fact only was just above the level of an average police TV-series episode.

Perhaps no wonder this movie felt like an extended TV-series episode, since it actually got based on a TV-series, from the '70's, by the same name.

Thing with its story is that it presents itself as something clever and original, while in fact it's neither of the two. Don't get me wrong, it was definitely solid enough all but there wasn't really anything that stood out about the movie and the style didn't always seem to fit its premise. A straightforward approach would had simplified things but it at the same time would had perhaps made this movie a more convincing and enjoyable one as well, with less distractions in it.

The movie could had done without some of its characters and plot lines, which you already know in advance of where it's going at anyways. the story gets a bit muddled at times and it even seems like it was trying to do too much for an under 2 hours short movie. In that regard this movie also might had definitely worked out better as a mini-series.

But all this criticism aside; it remains a perfectly watchable genre movie. It has good atmosphere to it and you have to remember this is a British production, so it's quite different from a more polished Hollywood production, so to speak.

You could call this a raw and gritty movie with its story but even more so with its characters. In essence the goods guys are sort of scoundrels as well, despite the fact they work for the police. The break the law to get suspects and evidence but also for their own personal benefit. I guess this also was what made the TV-series popular at the time and also still makes this movie distinct itself somewhat from other similar genre movies. You are sort of rooting for bad guys, which is not an easy thing to achieve, for any sort of movie.

But you can thank the cast for making it work out. Ray Winstone is a great main character, with the right sort of look as well. He looks tough and mean but you still know he can be a loyal and great guy to hang around with, as long as you stay on his good side.

There also is plenty of action to enjoy. Nothing too big but still quite spectacular at times. There are some long shootouts car chases and good old fashioned fist fights to enjoy in this, so you could hardly call this movie a boring one.

It all adds up this movie being a slightly better than average one, though the fact that it's a sort of low-key and low-budget production shall probably mean not that many people will ever see it.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

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