Friday 5 March 2010

44 Inch Chest

The opening scene is promising, the soundtrack a delicious contrast with the action. The cast could hardly be better, though if, like me, you last saw two of them playing together as Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson in John Adams, it will take a while to adjust to the two East End villains you see here. And they enjoy themselves hugely, so we do too.

Unfortunately, while a torrent of obscenity can be funny – and I laughed loud enough - it can’t stay funny for long. Similarly the use of one set for almost all the action is a challenge. Combining that with the ironic opening music strongly suggests Reservoir Dogs, but there just isn’t Tarantino’s flair for using music to point up the darkness of the action here. The fact that they got Badalamente (Twin Peaks) to do the soundtrack suggests that they were trying, but it just doesn’t succeed.

Fatally, there is a loss of momentum well before the end, and even the irony of Ray Winstone’s paean to love and marriage, fine in itself, leaves it looking like a stage play that didn’t survive translation into film.

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