Welcome to the Punch Eran Creevy

Welcome to the Punch Eran Creevy
4
Like most films made by commercial or music video directors, Eran Creevy's shallow rendition of the British crime genre, Welcome to the Punch, has an inherent slickness and polish in composition and sequential layering. It's as nifty to look at as it is forgettable. It's dumb, playing as a vengeance parable of sorts, with a cop, Max Lewinsky (James McAvoy), shot in the knee by Sternwood (Mark Strong), a thief trying to neutralize his assailant during a getaway. Having deeply dramatized, syringe-based fluid extraction sessions each morning, a limping Lewinsky (no relation to Monica) is keen to act when Sternwood, who went into hiding in Iceland after the big score, re-emerges in an effort to protect his son, who's been shot in another vaguely-related criminal misdeed. Beyond this bland, often mealy cat-and-mouse session, there's a hint of a greater police conspiracy involving the commissioner (David Morrissey) that only serves to teach the audience a hilariously disingenuous lesson about understanding the perspectives of others that may, or may not, have shot you in the past. While these characters move about London, firing guns and speeding around in cars, there's a sense of grandiosity and stylistic imperative that the script, which is mostly content to rehash vengeance and corruption tropes without any greater layering or complexity, is unable to sustain, leaving everything feeling as cheap and pornographic as a car commercial. In the "making of" supplemental material included with the Blu-Ray, the actors remark upon a scene or idea that meant a lot to them. Mostly, it's publicity filler, but when they step back to say that a slow motion shootout in the home of generic middleman henchman Dean Warns (Johnny Harris) stands out, it's clear that they're reaching for one of the only notable moments amidst an array of cold, humourless set pieces in storage mazes and city streets. One of the only intriguing aspects of the movie is Lewinsky's clever, concerned, but emotionally concealed partner, Sarah Hawks (Andrea Riseborough). Unfortunately, despite selling a deeply disturbing scene in a shipyard where she's imperilled by an unstable criminal, she doesn't last long, leaving the film to reiterate tedious machinations until a big shootout — where everyone conveniently verbalizes their motivations while reloading guns — wraps everything up. (eOne)