Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Tue Dec 20 2011
In another context, a ‘cleanskin’ is a bottle of surplus Aussie wine sold on without its label: in this modest contemporary British thriller however, the term signifies a secret service operative in covert mode – or indeed a terrorist suspect previously unknown to the authorities.
Although sold as a vehicle for rugged Sean Bean in action-man form as an embittered British intelligence agent, writer-producer-director Hadi Hajaig’s film devotes equal screen-time to the character journey of Abhin Galeya’s radicalised Muslim student within an escalating London terror campaign. This highlights the interaction of emotions and ideology on both sides as the movie gestures towards character depth, yet the script has little idea what to do with all this material, deploying a flashback structure which verges on the chaotic and entirely dissipates the story’s forward momentum.
Bean is one-note (pretty much as usual, then), the performances prove as functional as the action, and while there’s enterprise to admire, the result is plodding, somewhat misbegotten, and never slick enough to sweep us along.
Author: Trevor Johnston