This classic from FilmFour tells the story of Cal (Ray Winstone) an ex bank robber who has retired to Spain, but gets contacted to do one last job. He’s ready to say “No”, but when he hears that Don Logan is coming over in person to “persuade” him , a heavy Eastenders atmosphere descends. Cue big build up to the arrival of Mr Logan (Ben Kingsley) However prepare for anticlimax as when he does arrive we see that it’s less to do with the fact that he’s a Mr Big as the film would like us to supposedly believe, but rather like a weirdo relative from hell who looks like Ben Kingsley putting on a mockney accent. The reasons for dreading his arrival become apparent for all the wrong reasons. So it’s a comedy? Er, no! I’m afraid not. And it gets worse.
Ian McShane is the No.1 villain of the piece. That’s right, Ian McShane of Lovejoy fame (that rhymes). What a Mc-shame! (stop it) Because other than those two dreadful casting choices this film has the makings of being a brit-gangster classic of its time like its contemporary Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. The story is well told, paced and cleverly structured given it’s simplicity. It is a lovely script and there’s great acting from the rest of the cast, not least from Winstone. And at one hour twenty we’re not left hanging about or made to suffer milked moments. Good succinct direction from Jonathan Glazer and lovely, subtle scoring from Roque Baños. But in a FilmFridays first, Casting Director Lucy Boulting must be named and shamed for some seriously poor choices!
Other two star films rated by FilmFridays include