Pure Pinter. Two characters engaged in a claustrophobic battle of wits, both quietly threatening; with the usual insinuations of loyalty, sexuality & class-prejudice ready to spill out, into violence. Branagh's direction is super obtrusive & suggests a lack of faith in the material, which is a hindrance, but doesn't quite sabotage the intensity of the adaptation, nor its extended commentary on the act of performance.
There are 2 versions. This is the remake. What both versions have in common is the outstanding performance of Michael Caine (again, after 35 years). Contrary to common reviews this is the better one. Why? (1) Right from the beginning there is tension; not at all boring, at no time. (2) Jude Law is terrific (Lawrence Olivier is not). (3) This is a humiliation-duel; not a comedy. A verbal & visual "grand pas de deux".
nice ironic dialogues, catchin' characters and storyline. like it a lot "Andrew Wyke: You know what God’s trouble is? Detective Inspector Black: What? Andrew Wyke: He has no father. He has no family roots. He’s rootless. Nowhere to hang his hat, poor bugger. I pity him."