Guess what – here’s Hogwarts year 4 !
I went in to this film unusually not knowing anything about it. A friend had recommended it, so here I was.
The story of two Irish hitmen in hiding after an accidental killing of a child during an assassination, you have Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) out in Belgium waiting to hear from their boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes).
Not a recipe for comedy, black or otherwise, or so I thought. However, there’s plenty of amusement to be had.
The rapport between Ray and Ken is fraught, as while Ken is happy to be there and is off out sightseeing, Ray is wracked with guilt for the accidental death of the boy, until he meets a local drug dealer and thief, Chloë (Clémence Poésy) who is working as a production assistant on a film in the town.
Ok so far, but a bit slow. Well, the second half of the film picks up the pace, the humour and the violence.
Ralph Fiennes plays the gangster boss Harry with principles who can’t excuse the death of a child, even if accidental, and so wants Ray to pay the ultimate price, and for Ken to do the dirty work. So when Ken touchingly refuses, and tries to get Ray to escape, you know that an angry Harry is going to wreak havoc.
Did I see the ending coming ? No, of course not.
I expected either Harry to get Ray, or Ray to escape somehow. I was not expecting Harry to manage to injure Ray, but in so doing accidentally kill what he thought was a child, and therefore offing himself in order to stick to his own principles.
Ok, so a bit of overboard moralising, but even so, I enjoyed this film far more than I expected, especially since it had Colin Farrell and his world-record eyebrows in it. He usually drives me to distraction.
So its gangsters with a small “g”, not a Godfather Part IV, but an entertaining story of loyalty, love and honour.
7/10. Much better than I expected.