November 9, 2010

Harry Brown - 2010

Director: Daniel Barber
Writer: Gary Young
Starring: Michael Caine, David Bradley, Emily Mortimer

"The Marines were a lifetime ago. I was a different man then." Harry Brown (Caine), an ex-Marine widower, is pushed to the breaking point when escalating gang violence in his area of south London results in the death of his friend Leonard Atwell (Bradley). Brown decides the only thing he can do is start fighting back, but the police give him a spot of trouble along the way.

There are certain actors in the business that will achieve nearly universal appeal, but still have a few moviegoers crying foul. Michael Caine is not one of them, and if his Oscar nominations every decade from the 1960s through 2000s isn't evidence enough of that, this film should be. An incredible feature debut for director Daniel Barber, Harry Brown, while a bit graphic at times, never disappoints, and Caine's performance is squarely the source. No other character really has a significant or developed role, but the script works well all the same. And while the action isn't over-the-top a la RED, for example, it's entertaining nevertheless, probably for the same reason. The police in the film doubt an emphysema-ridden pensioner would commit such acts of vigilanteism, but the audience accepts it perfectly. A-

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