Not every criminal wants to be one.
Jamie Campbell Bower
Running Time: 103 minutes
US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 18
Country: United Kingdom, United States
Mitchell’s (Farrell) got out of prison and he wants to go straight but nasty crime boss Mr Gang (Winstone playing pretty much the same character he’s played in the past ten years) won’t let him. The kindly crim takes a day job as a minder and handyman (not that he ever does any work whatsoever) for hounded actress Charlotte (Knightley) with whom he inevitably falls in love despite a lack of any discernible chemistry and also makes friends with a failed actor (Thewlis). It’s not long before he’s forced back to a life of crime by Mr Gang and Billy (Chaplin), his irritating underling, but Mitchell takes a stand against the duo.
In London Boulevard everything seems so undercooked. Characters like the weird paparazzi appear from nowhere, do nothing and then disappear, some relationships are not fully explored or explained (even the main lovestory) and the characters change completely for no apparent reason, like the serial killing thesp.
It’s a shame that London Boulevard wastes an excellent supporting cast. The normally excellent Eddie Marsan is underused, Stephen Graham doesn’t really do anything except drink cocktails and Ray Winstone’s hugely stereotypical Lahndahn mob boss is on some kind of mission to see how many c-bombs he can drop – the answer being lots. The bright light is Anna Friel as Mitchell’s kooky, off-her-head sister who brings some much needed laughs to the film. With his cockney accent Colin Farrell sounds like he should be part of Spinal Tap. And that’s not a compliment. All in all, the vast majority of dialogue is so bad it’s funny, so the cast never stand a chance.
William Monahan clearly wanted to make a Sixties thriller – a Sixties soundtrack features heavily, Mitchell just had to drive a classic car at some point and even characters like DI Bailey and Jordan look like they’ve walked right out of that era – it seems like he couldn’t be arsed with the setting so he just plonked it straight into modern day London instead. Having said all this, praise has to be given to attention to detail at times and there are some good one liners amongst the bile.
It's Got: Embarrassingly bad dialogue, someone who walks around in a suit and tie all day everyday no matter what, stereotypical and nonsensical characters
It Needs: To try and do something different, a new writer.
Alternatives:Carlito's Way, Get Carter, Sunset Boulevard
Having a better cast than usual doesn’t stop this effort descending into stereotypical cockney gangster rubbish. Stay away from this, you c–t.