Throughout, the film shifts style, from kitchen sink dreariness, to tension-filled, expressionistic thriller, to wide-canvas, allegorical tragedy - all tempered by a dark, self-effacing humour about the absurdity of the situation. . If you head south from the Twin Cities along I-35, then just as you leave behind the many lakes of south-central Minnesota you'll come across Faribault, the quiet town which Harry Brown's Family Automotive calls home. Michael Caine is having a stellar year. But with a wife in the hospital and a daughter in the ground, Harry takes on his new role without the usual pesky distractions, like a grasp of right and wrong. Stretch seems as if he were into harder stuff crystal meth and human sacrifice, from the looks of that pretty young thing. We don't need its content.
With movies like this, humans creep back into crime stories. Fewer innocent bystanders would die. It would not do for a geezer to outdo the police. He left that part of his life behind decades ago and has lived a quiet life in a community in London going slowly downhill. It is undeniable that the film takes inspiration from the Western genre, especially the morally-murky revisionism of the 1960s. In many ways, Harry Brown is a riff on the classic Western. Cordite is obsolete: it's no longer produced.
After a violent gang murders his friend, Harry decides to take justice into his own hands. Yet, the drug dealer himself is absurd, almost Gollum-like, in his affectations and sheer weirdness. From his high window, Harry hears a car alarm and looks down to see the car's owner come out and be beaten by thugs. It is what gives a film a sense of drama and propels the plot forward. Could there be a more emphatic statement of postmodern decay? An elderly ex-serviceman and widower , Harry Brown , Michael Caine looks to avenge his best friend David Bradley 's murder by doling out his own form of justice. Harry Brown is one of the best revenge films of the year and one of the best in its genre.
Whereas once his drive to follow orders and obey the law led him to fight men who believed in something, now when that law has betrayed him the ineffectualness of the police and judicial system is portrayed through the film with an incongruous degree of subtlety he is forced to struggle against teenagers who believe in nothing. In England, retired Royal Marine Harry Brown spends his lonely life between the hospital, where his beloved wife Kath is terminally ill, and playing chess with his only friend Leonard Attwell in the Barge pub owned by Sid Rourke. But he brings a plausible suggestion of steeliness and a familiar gift for waterworks to his role in this flick as the titular former military man turned trigger-happy pensioner. A 70-something retiree and ex-marine, Harry spends his days in one of two ways: at the hospital watching over his dying wife, or at the pub playing chess with his best friend Leonard. After the death of Kath, Len tells his grieving friend the local gang is harassing him and he is carrying an old bayonet for self-defence. Former writer at Empire Movies, Blogcritics, and Alternative Film Guide. Now, he stars in Harry Brown, another small-budgeted indie, this time a chilling thriller from first-time director Daniel Barber.
These questions were swept under the rug in order to tell a simpler story. In fact, if not for a brilliant piece of acting by Caine the scene would be completely devoid of dramatic tension. The film's opening sequence is shot using a mobile phone camera, held in the palm of a lad wiling away the time by riding around a public park on a motorbike, firing off pistol pot-shots at passers-by. The main villain in the scene, Stretch Sean Harris , is covered in needle marks, a gaggle of scars, and tattoos, operates under the influence of continuous narcotic highs yet is not stupid enough to believe everything Harry is telling him. This movie plays better than perhaps it should. Harry Brown sees that justice will not be granted and decides to take matters into his own hands. Caine no longer conveys the cold brutality he once did.
Harry uses Marky to bait Noel and Carl into a gunfight in the underpass; Carl and Marky are killed, and Noel flees with Harry in pursuit, only for Harry to collapse from an attack. Ostensibly billed as a 'modern urban western' by the creative and publicity teams, Harry Brown is a more complex melange of a film, just as much a showcase for Barber's versatility as Caine's acting. Childs orders a major police operation on the estate, which results in a riot. So announced a modest set of opening credits last night in Toronto, where Caine's vigilante drama premiered at the Elgin Theater. Harry served in the British Marines but left that part of his life behind decades ago. Over and over again, the film bombards the viewer with this message that we live in a broken society where the criminal leave the law-abiding at best inconvenienced and disgusted, at worst terrified and broken.
It effectively sidelines its thought-provoking, discussion-stimulating aspects, in favour of a crowd-pleasing ending. When Leonard is killed, Brown reaches his breaking point. This is the daily reality. The landscape of the estate is not too far from a post-Civil War America, with unruly mobs - with no place in society - terrorising the locals without much significant reprisal from the uncommitted lawmakers who, here, are Wire-style bureaucracy-bound, out-gunned suits, led by do-gooder Emily Mortimer. The film grabs its plot from the headlines, using the current moral panic of youths, yobs and druggies on council estates as its foundation. That it never feels too jarring shows the strength of the production team, that is just as comfortable with the dull browns and greys of Harry's lonely daily routine, as it is with the shocking, cartoon-style greens of hidden cannabis forests, and messed-up characters who use pistol barrels as make-shift crack pipes. And it's true, as the scallywags are mostly caricatures, including a boisterous, foul-mouthed dealer, a cocky, foul-mouthed rent-boy, and an authority-defying, foul-mouthed chap whose defining feature is his row of gold teeth.
One night Harry walks home from the pub and is mugged by a drug addict. This recontextualisation is particularly well-managed, and is played perfectly by Caine, as the old man's military past, suppressed for decades, is slowly brought back to the surface. A great story comes out of the choices the lead character makes. Amid a riot in the streets, Harry is able to stop the last of the killers, bringing down a huge drug ring in the process. In this film, he begins as a lonely, sad geezer, and gradually an earlier persona emerges, that of a British marine who served in Northern Ireland. What Caine is successful at, however, is always remaining in character.
The police investigation is misdirected for political motives. It's certainly thrilling , though the morality may be questionable , even in this time, as the spectators were clearly on the Harry Brown's side. Secondary cast is frankly excellent such as Emily Mortimer , Charlie Creed-Miles , David Bradley , Iain Glen , Sean Harris, Ben Drew and special mention to Liam Cunningham as Sid Rourke. Caine play an old dude who mows down a lot of villains, which he does plausibly. He talks to Harry about getting revenge and shows him a bayonet he has begun carrying for protection. He has also created ProMovieBlogger.