Nitty, gritty, British police drama with James McAvoy (Wanted & Trance) taking on a well known criminal by himself, fails but then (kind of) succeeds. And that is exactly what 'Welcome to the Punch' brings to the table (or screen should I say). With a simple yet affective script - this film will hit you with a punch when it comes to finding out that the main characters are in deeper than they ever thought and will have to put their differences aside and work together on this one.
This film doesn't muck around and gets straight into the action; unfortunately resulting in a police officer - Max Lewinsky (McAvoy) getting shot in the leg within the first five minutes of him being on screen. Nonetheless, despite his sore leg (as and when he doesn't forget about it that is!) when the force get tipped off that the ex-criminal Jacob Sternwood's (Mark Strong) son was involved in a heist gone wrong, McAvoy with a great London accent (with his eyes bluer than ever) throws himself straight in to prepare for the man he has been waiting for. A lot of people have perceived the film as being long winded and dull but they are clearly harsh critics who do not like a good British production with character development that isn't jam packed full of pretentious direction and tonnes of gunfire and killing. Punch offers something more than the standard cop revenge plot and gets the equilibrium just right when it comes to violence and narrative especially when you find out that everyone you trusted on screen are not what they seem and you find yourself routing for the bad guy when Max teams up with him. Of course this is a plot that we have all seen before and yes it is genetic but by no means unwatchable. Eran Creevy who hasn't done anything profound within the industry yet gives a very good stance when it comes to direction which compliments the stylish soundtrack immensely, giving tension and energy to the long takes lacking dialogue allowing the audience to sit back and work out what's coming next. If you want a good raw London drama with a few set backs, an easy watch and of course not forgetting the greatness of the cast then this is one to see. With a low budget,TV series feel to it, 'Welcome to the Punch' shows us that there is more to producing an entertaining film than just having 2 hours of gunshot and the bad guy goes down - so much more happens here and you will enjoy seeing 'The Ministry of Sound' being destroyed by bullets!
Directed by Eran Creevy
99mins, 15 (2013)