Tough, uncompromising and totally un-PC cop Brant (Jason Statham) joins forces with Officer DC Porter Nash (Paddy Considine) to hunt down a serial killer (Aiden Gillen) who has been targeting police officers. This fast-paced action-thriller is a raw, gritty tale of moral ambiguity, outsiders and the sacrifices the police make to keep crime off the streets.
Based on a Ken Bruen novel — honestly, that’s all it took. Add Statham and it was a no-brainer — and not necessarily in the sense that you’d usually conclude about that. This is based on one of Bruen’s London novels with recurring characters Brant and Nash. It works a lot better if you’ve already read the novels because the two actors really make the roles come to life. There’s a lot more going on here than in your usual Stath slugfest because of course, it’s Bruen.
He’s even got a cameo as a priest (which if you know Bruen is even more amusing).
The cast alone should have got plenty of notice from folks, but I don’t get the sense that this made the splash it should have. Hardcore fans might have thought there was a little too much going on here. Highbrow types who overlooked it miss not only the two stars, but Mark Rylance as a cop broken down by sorrow, David Morrisey as a sleazy reporter, Aidan Gillan as a killer so repulsive you want to reach into the movie and wipe that smirk off his face — and perhaps best of all, Zawe Ashton as a cop who’s losing the battle with her addictions in heart-breaking slow mo.
If you’ve overlooked it until now, give it a chance. There’s still plenty of action, grit and no rainbows or puppies in the ending. You’ll enjoy if you like that sort of thing. I do.
See the round-up of overlooked gems at Todd’s blog.