Welcome to the Punch (R) - Runtime: 99 minutes
Starring: James McAvoy, Marc Strong
Director: Eran Creevy
Writer: Eran Creevy
I love James McAvoy and Marc Strong. I feel like they don't get enough love out there. C'mon people, just love 'em! So here we have a small-time movie with these two awesome dudes and I couldn't not watch it. Even though the writer/director has only one other credit to his name, a movie called $hifty which I remember seeing on the shelves at Blockbuster, but thinking "I refuse to acknowledge this film because they replaced the letter S with a dollar sign. Just like I refuse to acknowlege Ke-dollar sign-ha as a real person." And you know what, it's pretty good! Not going to win any awards, but it's a solid crime/cop drama.
James McAvoy plays Max, a cop who gets burned by some thugs who just stole a bunch of money. Marc Strong, on of the criminals named Jacob, has a chance to just end his misery after knocking him on the ground, but chooses instead to just shoot him the leg. Because you know what? Marc Strong is a good guy, deep down. And after a few years in hiding, Jacob gets a call that his son is in the hospital after getting shot. Max obviously sees this as an opportunity to finally get some justice and prove to everyone he's a good cop. Typical stuff and there's obviously a conspiracy at play and lots of double crossings. It's all quite fun, really.
The performances are great and McAvoy and Strong work well together. I really enjoyed the side plot with Max's girlfriend/partner and things get real when she gets involved in his revenge fantasy. The film is beautiful too - there's this cool blue tone throughout the movie and most of it takes place at night, which I think added to the tone of the film - it's a lot like a film noir in that respect.
Good acting, good directing and a decent story. And it doesn't overstay its welcome (ha! pun intended, folks!) and you'll enjoy yourself immensely.
Rating: Rent It!