Robert Carlyle plays a former lefty turned bank robber in this very decent British crime thriller.
Somehow this one has flown under my radar for about 20 years, perhaps it was overshadowed by Face/Off which came out the same year. But after watching it for the first time last week, I liked it so much I watched it again a couple of days later.
Along with Robert Carlyle, the inimitable Ray Winstone also stars, hilariously wearing a Dalek T-shirt, as well as Steve Waddington, the great Phil Davis and Blur front man Damon Albarn. They’re a gang of armed robbers, like family really. That is until, after their latest job, someone rips off each man’s share of the loot from their respective hiding places, leaving a trail of dead bodies in their wake. With tempers fraying very rapidly, they race to find the slag/slags who are stealing from them as their ‘family’ quickly starts to come apart at the seams.
Face features great performances. It’s always a pleasure to see Winstone onscreen and Phil Davis is a very funny man. The way he delivers lines like “Shaddap!”in the midst of a shoot out with the ol’ bill, as Winstone mutters to himself “I can’t do this… I can’t do this,” is second to none. We also get a good and not overly complicated story and some very solid action scenes, including shoot outs and bloody beatings. And it’s ingrained with some cracking humour and old fashioned British charm. Fuck Gangs of London, this is much better.
The only thing that didn’t quite come off for me was having Carlyle as the leader – he’s not very physically imposing and just didn’t seem ‘ard enough to be boss of a gang of armed robbers. That said, the guy’s a good actor and he and the rest of the cast portrayed an interesting bunch of (largely) believable and sympathetic characters.
If it’s flown under your radar too, I highly recommend checking it out. Great soundtrack too.