In the wake of ‘Welcome to the Punch’, here’s another London-set crime flick with mostly unfulfilled ambitions to the cool sheen of a Michael Mann thriller. Toby Stephens is miscast as a sort of posh Jason Statham, a master thief who crosses Gabriel Byrne’s crime kingpin and signs up for a risky heist. Unbeknown to him, a dogged cop Rufus Sewell may be in close attendance.
The problem with ‘Kidulthood’-producer Isaac’s first writing and directing bow is that we’re never really given much reason to care about any of these major players. The spiralling plot becomes increasingly academic while it seems to think it’s being terribly clever. And I’m not sure that staging would-be meaningful tough-guy encounters with major tourist landmarks in the background was such a good idea either – it would have surely been better to have upped the action quotient, which looks somewhat ungenerous as it stands. Sewell’s smart turn as the detective whose carefully poised bonhomie masks darker motives, is a minor marvel in the circumstances.