Rather good, seriously violent, low budget Brit 'corrupt cop' thriller
- Hyena review by RP
It's a low budget Brit 'corrupt cop' thriller. Err, that's it...
What makes this one stand out from the herd of many similar films is the quality of acting (good), the photography (excellent) and the level of violence (very high). Gerard Johnson directs Peter Ferdinando in the lead role as deeply corrupt, yet efficient, cop DS Michael Logan. He has entered into a corrupt relationship with Turkish drug smugglers and 'invested' £100k to set up a new route into the UK, and expects to take a hefty cut of the profits. But a seriously dodgy pair of Albanian brothers move in, take over the operation and cut out Michael's contact from the deal - literally, as in they chop him up with a machete.
Michael tries to do a deal with the not-very-nice Albanians who are also into human trafficking, but he is under investigation for his corrupt activities - and the deal goes wrong, very wrong. Intertwined with this is a story about rescuing a trafficked woman.
The locations are in West London (makes a change from East London...) from Bayswater/Queensway to some of the seedier areas of Brent. The bleak streets are soaked in coloured neon and the photography is excellent, capturing a very seedy slice of London life.
There are a couple of nice touches if you keep your eye out for them; good old George Dixon pounded the beat in West London (Paddington Green), but this is nothing like that - no corruption in his day, surely. And there is an old Norman Wisdom film playing in the background of one scene - Norman Wisdom is/was very popular in Albania, where his films were the only Western fare allowed under the former Communist regime. Not many people know that...
Apart from Peter Ferdinando in the lead, there are also better-known actors (Neil Maskell, Stephen Graham) doing a pretty good job as well. The film is seriously violent with assorted beatings, stabbings, shootings, blood-spattered choppings and an unpleasant rape, so it's not a film to watch with your granny. It also has an ambiguous ending, one that reminded me of that long, long look at Bob Hoskyns at the end of 'The Long Good Friday'.
Yes, it's clichéd, yes, it borrows from many other films and no, it won't be to everyone's taste, but it is a rather good example of the genre. 4/5 stars.
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