Villains To Die For. Nov 23, 2010
This film is a marvellous assault on all the senses, a tremendously exciting film of perfection. Gal Dove, (Ray Winstone) once a hardened criminal, is now retired and living in Spain with his wife Deedee (Amanda Redman) and their two friends, Aitch (Cavan Kendall) and Jackie (Julianne White), with a small native boy doing odd jobs. Almost immediately the viewer will discover that this film is not the norm, when a hugh boulder comes travelling down the hill towards the hacienda. But nothing worries Gal for he has the life he wants.
Into this idyllic mix comes Don Logan (Ben Kingsley), a state-of-the-art villain who makes Freddie Krueger seem homey, He wants Gal to do a 'job' back in London. But Don is insane, talking to his image in the mirror, whipping himself up and if thwarted, striding around the room with violent intent shouting "No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. No, no, no." What occurs next would give the game away. Suffice to say Gal arrives in London, now apparently having given in, and meets up with Teddy Bass (Ian McShane), Don's superior in this dangerous world. Ian McShane gives a menacing, smiling, cold-hearted performance as Bass, and from then on the suspense intensifies.
The film is adeptly handled, with drumming music building to nail-biting scenes. It really is a tour de force - funny, frightening, eye-bugging and intensely interesting; one of those films that causes the mouth to drop open in wonder at how they did it. The direction by Jonathan Glazer is skilful and imaginative, and the actors cannot be surpassed. But in a way, this is Ben Kingsley's film. His character has been beautifully honed by the actor to create a solid centre for the movie.