A middle-aged crime boss smugly reflects back from 1999, narrating the brutality which made him triumphant – and feared. As an unnamed young hood in Swinging 60’s London, he aped his mod boss Freddie Mays, and seemed to do anything for him.
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Part of this works as a nice tribute to Malcolm McDowell - I can't remember ever being this excited with a film to get to the next bit of voiceover. Somewhere around the one hour mark, however, Paul Bettany's brave attempt to impersonate the younger McDowell goes way, way psycho. And then the whole film becomes a rather distressing look at how a great 60s anarchist has become a death dwarf for hire.
This film-this gem- seemed to have been hiding in the very corners of the video rental. I just recently saw this and my god, it knocked at least 3/4 of my favorite gangster films out of the picture and won me over within minutes. Paul Bettany, my god...
Best ever Gangster film. Period. Paul Bettany is sheer wonton evil and casting David Thewlis as a gangster boss (WTF??) actually works. Stackso violence ("pie and mash / scrape you off the wall" and all). An utter Gem.