Welcome to the Punch
James McAvoy - Max Lewinsky
Mark Strong - Jacob Sternwood
Andrea Riseborough - Sarah Hawks
Writer: Eran Creevy
Director: Eran Creevy
Summary: Max Lewinsky is a police officer in London and three years ago he almost caught Jacob Sternwood, top criminal single handedly. It almost cost him his career and when Sternwood, now retired, is forced to return to the UK because his son is involved in a shooting, Max is there to try and catch him. However, there are deeper things going on and nothing is quite so straightforward.
I read one review of this that said it was incoherent, but I have no idea what film they were watching. You have to pay attention, but that's because the story has details and makes perfect sense. I loved this film and can't wait for the blu-ray release.
One of the things I really liked about this movie, is it is a film all about guns and yet it sends the message that being unarmed is actually safer. Part of the plot is a politician trying to get support for London police officers to be armed, but the only reason Max is alive for most of the movie is because at the beginning he was unarmed. He also spends most of the film without a gun even though everyone else seems to have one. I thought it was brilliantly done.
James McAvoy plays Max Lewinsky, who, in the first few scenes is a fiery young police officer desperate to take down Jacob Sternwood, master criminal.
It doesn't go so well.
Three years later we meet a police officer who is good at his job, but who is toeing the line and not causing waves.
James does an absolutely superb job of showing us both sides of Max's character. Then, as the film goes on we see the old Max coming forth again, and boy can he kick arse when he wants to. He is brilliant as ever and gives us the complexities of Max as well as his failings. Also can I just take a shallow moment to say that James also looks very fine throughout this film :).
The second lead, Jacob Sternwood is also played brilliantly by Mark Strong. Left is how we see him at the beginning of the film as the sharp criminal, right is how we see him throughout most of the movie as the desperate father.
He is a bad guy; he shoots people, but he's also rather likeable and not as psychotic as the "evil bad guy" (as my brain kept referring to him), Warns. I suppose Sternwood is the gentleman theif where as Warns is the thug.
The third performance I want to talk about is Andrea Riseborough as Sarah. Sarah is Max's partner and exactly how he used to be before his tangle with Sternwood. She is strong, competent and calls Max on his shit as well as being the only one willing to support him against his dick of a colleague (and it's most annoying because I can't remember his name and IMDB don't have it).
There is a perfect moment between Sarah and Max that displays the depth of feeling they have for each other, but neither of them is willing to step over the line.
This film starts with a car chase, who could possibly not give it points for that. It's not a car chase sort of film mostly, but the one at the beginning is great. Interesting and not too long, just the way I like them :). It's not a big explosions kind of film either, but what it does have is some great gun battles. Three stand out in my head and they are all superbly put together.
There is a fast pace, good dialogue, great acting, superb plot and stunning visuals; this is a great film. It's even darkly funny in places, which is just brilliant. I can't recommend it more.
So, that is the end of my review, but I just have to add, be still my slashy little heart. Oh my, the fanfic vibes I got off this. Max and Sternwood have this staring into each others' eyes moment at the end of the film, admittedly over a gun, but it just fired every fanfic button I had. It's like Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy, or Loki and Tony Stark; it just screams, we are enemies and yet we should be kissing madly :). See below and tell me I am wrong.
The Trailer for those who are interested: