A London gangster is recently released from prison and tries to go straight after being offered a job by a clinically depressed borderline agoraphobic celebrity. However, he’s forcefully reined back into ‘the business’ by Gant a psychotic criminal boss.
A star-studded and familiar face cast come together in William Monahan’s passionate compelling and compulsory underworld film that manages to capture a contemporary 60’s feel. It benefit’s from an on location look which is wonderfully and stylishly shot capturing both beauty and darkness of L.A. and London. The back drop of London feels like a character itself with something interesting always going on screen.
For some reason despite the formulaically worn genre Boulevard manages to stay fresh. Colin Farrell’s main character Mitchell is likable, interesting and dynamic with a Steve McQueen air about him.
The character relationship dimensions and interactions are intriguing and a little bit different from the usual Brit flick considering linear story thanks to a at times ambiguous script. Leads Farrell, Keira Knightley and Ray Winstone are on fine form. And both David Thewlis and Ben Chaplin steal the show with their contrasting character performances. There are loads of great supporting actor appearances, Eddie Marsan,Matt King,Tim Plester and Sanjeev Bhaskar to name a few. Notable is Briony, Mitchell ‘s alcoholic sister played excellently by Anna Friel.
US director Monahan has created a slick, witty, violent and soulfully hard hitting film. It’s a quality production and despite the soundtrack being repetitive at times and a choppy last act – London Boulevard is near on perfection for the genre.
Reminiscent of Layer Cake (2004) quite frankly it’s the UK’s Carlito’s Way (1993), Colin Farrell’s Charlie Brigante,which is a simply a good thing.