For about 60% of the runtime, this is a fast-paced and gritty drama about undesirables and their scofflaw lives. Interesting, even if it was conventional and underdeveloped. One good heist scene, in particular. The remaining 40% is a Disney-like feel-good melodrama that fails to resolve (or elaborate) a single conflict in the plot. A confused film with squandered opportunities - frustrating, to say the least.
The accents are thick but the plotting is light in this first narrative feature from Adam Smith. Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson are so above the material on view here that it makes the narrative deficiencies even more apparent. A miss.
So much potential in front of the camera I just think this film was too clichéd and not backed up by a strong script and assured direction. It's a shame because I silently applaud everytime a British film gets made and ultimately distributed (this one had the muscle of Film4 and the BFI behind it)! Fassbender just didn't have the material to work with. I cannot go more than 2 stars as it was a wasted opportunity.