Kulani Nkuna
1 minute read
16 Aug 2013
6:00 am

Sombre thrills

Kulani Nkuna

While not terribly original, Welcome To The Punch has flashes of brilliance that sustain the audience throughout its 90-minutes-and-change running time.

This is not to suggest that how the plot unravels is predictable. Not at all. In fact, the film will keep you at the edge of your seat, but the ending is a bit unimaginative. In some isolated instances, there are glimpses of the wry English humour employed by Guy Ritchie in classic films such as Snatch and Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels.

The mood and tone of the film is sombre, almost mirroring the gloom and despair of the weather in the background. English criminals, however, are somehow more fascinating than most and Mark Strong is superb as the dark and brooding villain of the piece. James McAvoy is a tragic hero of sorts, bitter and unwilling to let go of the past.

In a nutshell, the story is about former criminal Jacob Sternwood (Strong) who is forced to return to London from his Icelandic hideaway when his son is involved in a heist gone wrong.

This gives detective Max Lewinsky (McAvoy, left) one last chance to catch the man he has always been after. As they face off, they start to uncover a deeper conspiracy they both need to figure out in order to survive. A slew of other characters are thrown into the mix, making for an intriguing tale as the pieces of the puzzle begin to come together.

Twists and turns are used sparingly by director and writer Eran Creevy, who crafted this action-packed, enjoyable film.