Sean Bean plays Ewan, a Secret Service Agent deep undercover in London's criminal under belly, on the heels of a terrorist cell. His mission: to terminate with extreme prejudice. Also starring Charlotte Rampling and James Fox as his operators and Abhin Galeya as Ash, the eponymous 'cleanskin', an extremist unknown to the security services and every agent's worst nightmare.
Clearskin is the third directorial endeavour by British film maker Hadj Hajaif and tells the story of a war vet secret service operative on the case of a militant Islamic terrorist group.
Though at first glance this sounds like a wealth of movies and TV shows that are around at the minute, Clearskin is definitely worth sitting through, despite the rather predictable direction of its narrative.
Sean Bean stars in the piece as our man with the not-so-golden gun, but the scene is quite deservedly stolen by young British-Asian actor Ahbin Galevaz who plays Ash, a gifted Muslim with no previous record (whom the authorities will never suspect, hence “clearskin”) who is being groomed by Islamist extremist Nabil (Peter Polycarpou). Little more needs to be said about the plot of this movie, as it is fairly obvious to deduce its direction from here; yet Clearskin presents something that many of its more expensive American counterparts, both on the big and small screen, struggle to offer, a sense of gritty realism that gives the movie an entirely new sense of depth.
This depth is utterly invaluable for Clearskin as well, as it’s plot is a little patchy in places (and the low budget painfully obvious is others), but thanks to a handful of excellent performances and the indefinably British grit, not to mention the occasional moment of truly genuine tension, Clearskin is far, far better than I expected.