December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

September 16, 2013

Welcome to the Punch

When it's over, soft punch. Welcome to the Punch is a thriller in the tradition of Guy Ritchie films, but lacking the style, edge, and savvy. It is completely shot on location in London, England, with a British cast, about a copper named Max Lewinsky (James McAvoy) and a criminal named Jacob Sternwood (Mark Strong). Lewinsky has not been the same physically and emotionally since letting Sternwood get away after a bank heist. Five years later, the old wounds continue to plague Lewinsky's life. When Sternwood returns to London, Lewinsky is determined to bring the criminal to justice. The relationship between Lewinsky and Sternwood is one of cat and mouse and love and hate, where circumstances make them go from enemies to allies, where their trust is constantly being tested. The film's success and failure lies heavily on these two accomplished actors, who both deliver on the acting, but a story lacking in depth and structure make the film a soft punch for me. This is no fault on the actors and their presence onscreen is what keeps me interested. Within the story, there needs to be more on the two male leads in relation to their behaviors, and ultimately, how their pasts motivates their actions. For example, Lewinsky's wounded leg is a constant reminder that he is somehow “incapable” and this makes him vengeful, angry, and full of self-loathing. I understand this to a certain extent, but cannot understand the extremity of his behaviors. Is he handicapped in the heart, mind and soul, too? He is also a bit of a womanizer, which never gets explored. I would have liked to see that explored, because it makes him less rigid and more likeable as a damaged male protagonist. Another example, Sternwood is an intelligent criminal, who is a master at not being caught, but risks it all to come to his son's aid. I can see the fatherly love, but don't feel it. There needs to be more on him emotionally, so his actions have value. The film is relatively predictable from the start, so there is no guessing to be done. Even the sub-plot about police corruption is detectable early on, along with the culprit. There is no love story in the film, and the attempt for one is quickly eliminated half way through the film. Lacking in originality and suspense, the film's main draw is the actors. So, if you are a fan of either McAvoy or Strong, then this film is worth a viewing.

My rating: 2.5 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment