Saturday, September 11, 2010

Review: Harry Brown

I'm writing this as the first review because, well, it's the latest new movie I've seen.  It's not the latest movie I've seen (that goes to Knocked Up), but it is so far the most recently released.

Let us get down to business.
How was the movie?  It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great.  I selected it because I thought that it would be a better-made version of Law Abiding Citizen, a horrible piece of crap that people around me seem to like for reasons I can't exactly figure out.
Michael Caine plays the titular Harry Brown, a retired ex-Royal Marine living in 'The Estate', a rough-and-tumble set of high-rises.  Caine's neighborhood is terrorized by hooligan youths who spend most of their time in a pedestrian underpass.  The movie's first scenes depict a gang initiation of a new, young member, then cuts to some gan gmembers riding about on a scooter shooting at a mother walking her baby, killing her (as they flee, they get hit by a truck.  Justice is served.)  David Bradley enters in as Caine's chessmate/best friend who is especially terrorized by they youths and is eventually knifed in the underpass.  The two detective, Emily Mortimer and Charlie Creed-Miles, half-heartedly go about trying to solve the Bradley's murder.  Trying to solve is actually a bit too much; trying to convict the perpetrators, since they already know who did it, they just don't have any proof.  Meanwhile, after being assaulted on his way home and killing the attacker, Caine decides to take matters into his own hands and clean up the estate.  His military training and experience comes into use as he goes around vigilante-style knocking off the dregs of society.
The thing about Harry Brown is that it is incessantly dark.  Even scene is poorly lit, more fit for a post-apocalyptic thriller than a contemporary revenge film.  It also takes quite a long time to really get going too by dragging its feet through the first act.

Score:  C

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