WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A retired safe-cracker (Winstone) is living the good life on the southern Spanish Coast following a prison term when his past comes a-calling in the form of former associate Don Logan (Ben Kingsley), whose reputation as the most psychopathic gangster in the London underworld is a sign of very bad things to come. When Gal tries to turn the job down and Don won't take no for an answer...the pressure starts mounting.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Blessed with one of the best opening scenes I've ever seen, this movie grabs you by the nuts and squeezes every nerve ending in your body. A fantastic ensemble, a great script and some of the coolest characters around...adds up to a great, great time. Ray Winstone is brilliant as the retired thief who has found happiness lying in the sun with the woman that he loves and a couple of friends. If you can't read every little tidbit of emotion on this guy's face, than your heart must be as hard as the boulder that almost kills the poor bastard in the movie. The mood of the film shifts dramatically from its happy-go-lucky beginnings once Kingsley makes his first appearance. With about as much subtlety as a Los Angeles street whore, Kingsley establishes himself quickly as a bad guy not to be messed with. His fantastic performance makes you feel genuinely uncomfortable at some points, kind of like that guy at the party who gets out of hand but who nobody has the guts to shut up.
Ian McShane, as Teddy Bass the underworld boss, is also almost frighteningly genuine. You'll definitely want to make sure you stay out of this guy's way as he plays one of the coolest, nastiest and creepiest gangsters in a long, long time. One particular scene in which he and Gal have a discussion in his car just downright gives you chills and once again, genuine discomfort can be felt, almost as if the conversation was so real you'd heard it before and tried to forget it. The script though is the real star. Original, witty, funny, charming and terrifying all at once and made even better by the realism of the London accents of the actors, the story is so simple and yet so real that you can't help but feel for all those involved no matter what their involvement. Good guys, bad guys, the ones in between, they all sort of feel like people you've met, or in some cases, you hadn't. Crossing the finish line at a cool 89 minutes, this fast-paced little story will definitely shake you up and make you pay attention.
A full length commentary track is available and features producer Jeremy Thomas as well as Ben Kingsley. In the form of a casual conversation, this turns out to be a great commentary track. Although most of the time is spent pretty much explaining what you're seeing on the screen, some nuggets of conversation are pretty neat, such as the bit where Kingsley discusses his relationship with the rest of the crew on his first day on the set (Intimidating? Obviously these people have never seen SNEAKERS).
We also get a short featurette which contains mainly cast interviews (including the sizzling hot Amanda Redman) and some footage from the shoot and the film. Crew interviews are also there and director Glazer puts in his two bits. Pretty cool to watch, if only to see some of these great actors in a different light. As far as trailers go, you'll find all three kinds: theatrical, international and TV spots (strangely enough, you'll also find a trailer for Super Troopers...)
By far one of the funnest films I've seen in a while, this is a true original. Although there's not much in terms of extras, the originality of the film, as well as the fact that it's short and easy to watch, give it some high re-watch value. You should definitely rent this the next time you're at the video store and in the mood for something different. For me, it will most certainly be part of my permanent collection.