Thursday, 17 November 2011

London Boulevard

London Boulevard is described as a 2010 British Film noir. Perhaps it is, but for me it is another violence exploitation movie in the genre of Lock Stock and Two Barrels which appeals to the weekend lads and lasses. Colin Farrell plays a contemporary East End criminal released from prison who wants to go straight, or at least not return for any more porridge and evening pint mugs of cocoa. He is collected by a former friend and associate Billy who says he can stay at his flat which is decidedly up market because it has been provided by the man he now works for the notorious Rob Gant played by the ubiquitous crime boss Ray Winston.

At first Farrell as Mitchell (any connection with the Mitchell’s of the Old Vic is coincidental) resists the offers from Winston and investigates the offer of a security guard to Keira Knightly who is well suited for playing Charlotte your today’s flat chested stick actress model and creative artist who cannot go anywhere with anyone because of the paparazzi who have somehow persuaded the owners of a neighbouring building to allow them to camp out on the roof so there is are only a couple of spots in the garden of the West London house where she resides and shares with Davis Thewlia who plays an disturbed business manager.

The absurdity of this aspect of the plot but one of several similar aspects of film which is all about slick appearance over substance. In reality she would have vacated the premises long ago to something offering greater internal security or have taken appropriate injunctions. The idea of someone like Jordan being such a successful business manager is also pure fantasy. She also has a grand county house in need of renovation but again without adequate securing fencing and screening.

What Mitchell is not aware when he arrives is that she is suffering after a date rape in Rome when the perpetrator another fashionista film producer I think, is dealt with by the businesses manager although I not sure if he was murdered or severely harmed. There are two attractions to the job. The first it has accommodation and the second is that he is a stupid man as well as a criminal and takes a shine to the lady of the house because she is fascinated by his ruthless hard man criminality. He is a dangerous thug no different from the crime boss who recognises this and offers to take him under his wing.

Winston is no nonsense crime thug who likes to order scampi and chips with beer at posh nosh restaurants and uses his money and reputation to bully everyone into submission. Farrell turns to him for help when a tramp he knows, although it is not explained why he would ever take an interest in the tramp, is murdered by two young Turks from a local estate one of whom is a professional footballer which I suspect is supposed to surprise teenage viewers.

In the event Winston’s henchman picks up the wrong man but this does not the boy being tortured and killed. The film also features a corrupt policeman Detective Inspector Bailey played by Eddie Marsden. So how does it all end well DI Bailey gets ambitious and is murdered by Thewlis as Jordan. Farrell and he take the body to the water system at the country house so the body will enter the adjacent lake/river. He also murders Winstone in a shoot out where he knocks out Winstone’s whore and so that it looks as if she had killed the security guard who is made to look as if he has killed Marsden or vice versa.

Farrell is then knifed to death by the footballer he is trying to find while fortunately for her Keira as Charlotte is able to show she had nothing to do with any of this by being on a plane to the USA for an engagement there. And the moral is? Criminals are no different from crooked police and overpaid footballers and fashionista personalities together with red top papers paying the paparazzi. They are all scum bags who meet early bloody deaths. While the former may be true that latter is sadly not.

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