Michael Caine took a moment to step out of his butler uniform to star in the indie crime thriller, Harry Brown. The film was released in the U.K. on November 11th, and is in limited markets in the US. After recently viewing Brown, it seems like a throwback to the old school Death Wish movies, which centered on an angry man who packed a lot of heat. In this case, it’s Caine and he proves to be one old, dirty, bastard.
Check out our review below…
- Director: Daniel Barber
- Writer: Greg Young
- Actors: Sir Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Ben Drew, Charlie Creed Miles, Liam Cunningham, Sean Harris, David Bradley
With his wife having recently passed away and his best friend bullied daily by the drug-peddling gangs on his estate, aged ex-Royal Marine Harry Brown (Caine) decides to come out of retirement to clean up the neighborhood. The geriatric vigilante goes out of his way to bring down the bad guys who are harassing the innocent, but encounters a few unexpected obstacles along the way.
- Michael Caine: His performance in the film was excellent and is the main reason you should see the movie. Because of him, we believe that he’s a broken down man, who’s is forced to act out in such a drastic way. Caine brings his usual charm and swagger to the role, but it’s the film’s tender scenes that allow you to see the vulnerable side of his character.
- The Message: The film treats the audience as adults and dishes out a message regarding English society and gun based crime. It makes the you decide whether Harry’s actions are good or bad.
- The Cinematography: Despite a very low budget, this is a gorgeous looking film. The cinematography was similar to David Fincher‘s Seven, with its stark and somewhat dirty tone.
- Violence: This is a very violent film, but there are some scenes that are simply grotesque. Some have no relevance to the story and are just there to get a reaction out of the audience.
- Last 20 minutes: Without giving too much away, the film becomes over the top, overblown and contrived, which slightly ruins the overall impact of the story.
- Moral Implications: This film seems to encourage gun violence and openly says that it’s the answer to everything. Even though this is a film clearly aimed at adults, it’s still heavy handed with the subject matter.
- Emily Mortimer: Her performance isn’t very convincing as Officer Frampton, you don’t believe her in the role for one second. She was poorly underwritten, but did her best, which still wasn’t good enough.
- The Police: This seems to happen in every revenge thriller, the police do nothing. It’s the oldest cliché in the book, and it would have been nice if they had changed it a little bit.
When coming out of the screening, a person said “I want to buy a gun now”, which sums up the moral message of the entire film. You’re better off watching Gran Torino or Dead Man’s Shoes. But even so, this is still a well-crafted, gritty and brave British film that takes no prisoners.