Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Oscars: Dust Settles On The Fall Festivals With No Clear Best Picture Front-Runner (Yet) Oscars: Dust Settles On The Fall Festivals With No Clear Best Picture Front-Runner (Yet) Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Watch: NYFF Trailer Has Snippets Of ‘Inherent Vice’ Footage For Those Checking For Trailers Several Times A Day Watch: NYFF Trailer Has Snippets Of ‘Inherent Vice’ Footage For Those Checking For Trailers Several Times A Day TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Brit Action-Thriller 'Welcome To The Punch' Rounds Out With An Impressive Cast

The Playlist By Sam Price | The Playlist July 20, 2011 at 2:41AM

For a film produced on a government-funded scheme that gave its recipients a budget of £100,000, Eran Creevy’s debut film, 2008’s “Shifty,” has enjoyed a long cultural half-life. Although it didn’t get a decent airing outside of the U.K. – and even then was little-seen, in spite of an array of awards and critical attention – this hasn’t diminished the prospects of its director Creevy, whose follow-up “Welcome To The Punch” has been catching our attention since it we profiled its script when it charted high on the annual Brit List some months ago. Already confirmed to star were James McAvoy (who could do with off-setting his debonair know-it-all performance as Professor Charles Xavier with something more substantive), Andrea Riseborough (she of “Brighton Rock” and “Never Let Me Go”) and Britain’s answer to Jeremy Renner in terms of his heedless productivity, Mark Strong.
0


For a film produced on a government-funded scheme that gave its recipients a budget of £100,000, Eran Creevy’s debut film, 2008’s “Shifty,” has enjoyed a long cultural half-life. Although it didn’t get a decent airing outside of the U.K. – and even then was little-seen, in spite of an array of awards and critical attention – this hasn’t diminished the prospects of its director Creevy, whose follow-up “Welcome To The Punch” has been catching our attention since it we profiled its script when it charted high on the annual Brit List some months ago. Already confirmed to star were James McAvoy (who could do with off-setting his debonair know-it-all performance as Professor Charles Xavier with something more substantive), Andrea Riseborough (she of “Brighton Rock” and “Never Let Me Go”) and Britain’s answer to Jeremy Renner in terms of his heedless productivity, Mark Strong.

Empire reports that the rest of Creevy’s cast for the film, which began principal photography in the past couple of days, is just as impressive. The director has reunited with one of his “Shifty” leading men, Daniel Mays (also seen in last year’s “Made In Dagenham”) and he’s rounded out the cast with another great British actor and director in his own right, Peter Mullan (if you’ve never seen “Orphans," “The Magdalene Sisters” or “Neds” then correct this post-haste), as well as the ever-reliable character actor David Morrissey, whose stoicism was one of the highlights of the impeccable “Red Riding” trilogy, and Johnny Harris, whose stock has been rising since his turn as a loathsome pimp in Paul Andrew Williams’ “London To Brighton” some years ago.

No word yet on which roles these actors will be filling, as much detail on the plot isn't yet known. Even though what we do know seems like fairly conventional territory. The story centers on ex-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) one last chance to catch the man he’s always been after. As they face off, they start to uncover a deeper conspiracy they both need to solve in order to survive. Creevy's eye for taking familiar material and adding a welcome shade of nuance (in the case of "Shifty," a young hood in over his head with drugs) bodes well for this project which walks on similar ground, albeit in an action context.

“Shifty” had a sparse, utilitarian quality which marked it out as a welcome antidote to the Guy Ritchie directed, Matthew Vaughn produced gangster pictures (“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch”) that spawned a host of imitators since their appearance over a decade ago. These were themselves subject to rapidly diminishing returns, not least in the case of Ritchie himself, whose self-parodic efforts “Revolver” and “RocknRolla” cast London and its criminal underworld as a mythical fantasy-land peopled with sprightly foul-mouthed caricatures that spoke entirely in rhyming slang. Thankfully there’s been an upturn of late, and those who are fans of British thrillers seeking to strike out of the pejorative "urban crime" ghetto that they’ve languished in for some years now – usually “complimented” by a performance by mockney bruiser Danny Dyer – have a lot to look forward to. “The Disappearance of Alice Creed” was one of the highlights of 2009, whilst Ben Wheatley’s horror “Kill List” has been garnering advance buzz for a while now. To this list we can add “Welcome to the Punch”.

Lofty comparisons about the project's spiritual debt to Michael Mann and his film, "Heat," have abounded -- not least from Creevy himself, who regularly drops the director’s name and his stylistic influence into interviews -- and London’s Evening Standard also cites Ridley Scott as Creevy’s unofficial “mentor” on the film, whose production company Scott Free is also involved with the film alongside Creevy’s own producing partners Rory Aitken and Ben Pugh for Between the Eyes. But if Creevy can replicate the success he enjoyed with "Shifty" on a broader canvas, "Welcome to the Punch" -- particularly in the dull arid recesses of the British film industry, whose other "action" film on the horizon is "Johnny English Reborn" -- seems like a very exciting prospect indeed.

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Actresses, Eran Creevy, Welcome To The Punch, Peter Mullan, David Morrissey, Johnny Harris, Daniel Mays, Andrea Riseborough


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates