10 April 2010

Harry Brown (Daniel Barber, 2009, UK)

Harry Brown is a sort of vigilante justice movie about some old men living in a council estate (England's answer to the projects) that is somewhat reminiscent of the milieu of the apartment building at the center of Gomorrah. There's rampant crime involving drugs, sex, and illegal weapons, in addition to robberies and senseless harassment that calls to mind A Clockwork Orange. It gets to a point where Michael Caine has enough and decides to clean house. Emily Morter shows up as the heir to Helen Mirren's lady detective from Prime Suspect and she kind of represents the moral voice in the movie, which naturally gets drowned out. It's dark and gritty and a spare in parts. I generally liked it but I wanted it to go a little deeper. Instead of saying, "Make the world a better plays and flush the scavs into a fiery sewer," I wanted there to be some suggestion or indication of the structural elements that bring us to where we are in the film... C+

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