28 November 2010
Well, that was quite shit.
In William (The Departed) Monahan’s directorial debut, Colin Farrell’s noble and moral not-quite-gangster Mitch leaves Pentonville prison and finds himself in a Britain where you cannot smoke in pubs anymore. His sleazy small-time-crook friend (Ben Chaplin) works for a ridiculously typecast Ray Winstone, the mockney crime lord of South London.
Meanwhile, he serendipitously finds a job as a bodyguard / gardener for Keira Knightley’s paparazzi-bothered actress (and she will always love him).
What does one do? Does one go back to his roots, so to speak, and become the most-feared gangster in South London? Or does one become the new loveboy of a beautiful and rich actress? Hmmm …
The problem with London Boulevard is not that it runs out of ideas in about 10 minutes, but that it has A LOT of ideas. There are too many films crammed into one, too many great actors (I haven’t even mentioned David Thewlis or David Marsan … until now). If Monahan had stuck with one storyline, then this could have been a very interesting romance, a gritty and top-notch mockney gangster drama, a police procedural, a moral quest for vengeance … and many more.
This is without doubt the worst film I’ve seen all year - and yes, I have also seen Clash of the Titans. With the exception of the brilliant line, “If it weren’t for Monica Bellucci, she would have been the most raped actress in European cinema”, this is excruciatingly and frustratingly bad. Imagine what an awesome film it could have been.
Everyone involved in this film will want this to be lost and forgotten. Don’t worry, it will be.