LONDON BOULEVARD (18)
D: William Monahan
IFC/Entertainment Film Distributors (Graham King, William Monahan, Quentin Curtis, Timothy Headington, Redmond Morris & Colin Vaines)
W: William Monahan
DP: Chris Menges
Ed: Dody Dorn & Robb Sullivan
Mus: Sergio Pizzorno
Colin Farrell (Harry Mitchell), Keira Knightley (Charlotte), David Thewlis (Jordan), Anna Friel (Briony Mitchell), Ben Chaplin (Billy Norton), Ray Winstone (Rob Gant)
This British gangster film, brimful with the usual clichés, was the directorial debut of William Monahan (the Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Departed), who seems to be trying to ape Martin Scorsese's style with this lame effort.
Colin Farrell plays a former gangster, fresh from a spell in Pentonville prison for GBH, who finds himself torn between two employment opportunities within a day of walking free.
The first is to become a debt collector for Ray Winstone's firm, whilst the other is to do some handyman work for a reclusive actress (Knightley) who doesn't like being snapped by the paparazzi following the breakdown of her marriage.
Farrell makes his choice, but, of course, it's never that easy to go straight.
The script is very messy, possibly not helped by some terrible editing which leaves you wondering who certain characters are or what purpose they deliver to the story (the doctor, the vagrant, some random Bosnian). Even the 'romance' between Farrell & Knightley seems wedged in like a jigsaw puzzle piece which simply doesn't fit.
Though the cast is promising, the performances aren't the best. Farrell's London accent wavers, Winstone merely drops the C-bomb a lot and Knightley is completely unconvincing & miscast. Everyone else is underused or unnecessary, aside from David Thewlis as a pot-smoking thespian, though again, his character is totally underwritten.
The biggest insult is that this film attempts to parallel itself with Billy Wilder's classic, Sunset Boulevard. A total mess of an effort which deservedly flopped at the box office.