British film is often acclaimed for its excellent scripting, its real, tangible plotting and of course, minimal budgets.
Here, only the budget side of things plays true to continuance. For, while the script is hardly pitiful, or story obtrusively poor, they could both be far better.
That said, I enjoyed the story well enough: Jacob Sternwood, a former crook (Mark Strong) hiding away in Iceland has to return to save his beloved son after a heist goes wrong; thus allowing a revengeful detective by the name of Max Lewinsky (James McAvoy) to take one last pop at nabbing his most wanted.
As a thriller, deep-set and dark the game of shadows naturally then unearths deeper conspiracies, with all the usual suspects, politicians, gangs and the police, all involved. The good and bad must uncover these secrets to survive.
Where this film stands out above all though, taking it far above the average mark is the cinematography and setting. Director and writer Eran Creevy puts London in predominantly night vision, with the steel, glass and all its offerings giving an awesome backdrop to the criminal underworld and intense drama.
James McAvoy and Mark Strong are commendable in their roles, both offering their talents admirably and lifting the poorer points of the film above water where necessary. Andrea Riseborough also puts in a strong performance.
Therefore, Welcome to the Punch is a solid crime thriller. And it’s easy to see that Eran Creevy has the potential to do so much more; with a slightly better script and a touch more plot precision, his next might be nothing short of outstanding. But with only £8.5 million to play with, you have to acknowledge that regardless of a few flaws, this is impressive overall.
Director: Eran Creevy
Produced by: Ben Pugh; Brian Kavanaugh Jones; Roy Aitken
James McAvoy, Mark Strong, Andrea Risborough
Release date: March 2013
Running time: 99 minutes
- Joshua Barrie
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