This is, with no doubt, one of Allen's weaker movies. It is always a bad sign when you watch an Allen movie and you can't say whether this is a drama, a comedy, a thriller... or whatsoever? Sure it is a parabel about immorality & greed, but at times it really is pain to sit through, because the movie lacks any sort of spark in anything... In other words: terribly boring. Even the title is ...well, crap.
Woody Allen doesn't really bring a whole lot of new, exciting and/or auteur-like stuff to the table when it comes to the more technical aspects of film-making, but when you're as good a writer as he is that sort of ceases to matter, to me at least. This is a surprisingly effecting thriller about two scoundrel brothers, both set on breaking out of their mediocre blue-collar lives by any means necessary.
Often misremembered, this movie might be the most solid in Woody Allen's trilogy - a group of anyway flawless movies above any other in his last 20 years. Characters are well-built and - even more important - well told: there's no hassle into seeing understanding what drives the two brothers, even though seeing through all of their thoughts is as difficult as it would be in real life. (Not too) slow, but touching.
However intense the story might seem, the overall experience feels incredibly fabricated. Rushed from the very beginning, it becomes obvious and predictable, while a large chunk of the, otherwise eventful, film is proposed to be taken for granted. As if setting it in working class England was supposed to be enough of an argument by its own...
l'irrésistible Woody Allen, de plus en plus funeste et désenchanté, nous propose une dramatique descente aux enfers où sont conviés, avant l'ultime sortie en mer, quelques mânes antiques et tragiques, certaines dostoïevskiennes silhouettes transies par la faute et la culpabilité et la présence presque tangible d'un fatum courroucé, inexorablement justicier... www.cinefiches.com
Colin Farrell is beautiful and gives a perfect performance in a fast-paced and wonderful script by Allen--one of his best from the past few decades--and the entire supporting cast is great as well. It's a drama written as if it were a comedy, but with very vew jokes.
Underrated thriller from Allen whose tedium in the first act is overcome by an unbearably tense second and an operatically tragic third. Good performances all around. Nice portrait of what happens when ordinary idiots try to be master criminals; they fail honestly and all-too believably.