Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster Nathan Morlando

Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster Nathan Morlando
In the sole DVD "Making of" supplement, writer/director Nathan Morlando discusses his personal experiences with the biopic subject, Edwin Boyd (Scott Speedman). Years ago, Morlando was given Boyd's phone number, which was unheard of considering that the notorious bank robber had moved from Ontario to British Columbia and adopted a new name to ensure secrecy, working as a bus driver and caretaker of the handicapped until he passed away in 2002. These conversations, which of course no one can substantiate, are the motivation and guiding force for this mediocre and somewhat lethargic feature-length film. Using a linear time structure, the story starts with Boyd struggling to support his wife, Doreen (Kelly Reilly), and their two children. Walking away from his job as a bus driver, he tries his hand at acting unsuccessfully, eventually turning to robbing banks with his wife's make-up smeared across his face when he risks losing his home. With a washed-out, greyish colour palette and an overall aesthetic that remains static and cold for the duration, Citizen Gangster plays out Boyd's life of increasing greed and risk as a series of matter-of-fact events. Every once in a while, the story steps back in an attempt to maintain heart by showing Boyd bicker and bond with his less morally ambiguous wife, but for the most part, the film plays out in standard television fashion, with robberies, arrests and public appearances propelling one scene to the next. Even the potential subtext of economic imbalance and ideological rebellion against the complacent status quo ― a standard for the genre ― are vaguely defined at best. While serviceable and competently performed by all involved, there's just nothing remotely compelling about this very standard, superficial biopic about a well-known Canadian criminal. (eOne)