Boyle’s movies are always enjoyable if only for the brio of their direction and, here, there’s the added bonus Anthony Dod Mantle’s superb cinematography. I was less engaged, when I watched it, by the narrative however it has stuck with me. Maybe my lack of engagement was due to the problem, as Boyle has noted in interviews, of who to engage with; he fears for the American box office! It’s a heist-mind fuck movie and I shan’t be giving anything more away.
I’m not sure about the film’s sexual politics; Rosario Dawson certainly plays a strong character but there’s a scene where she reveals all to McAvoy’s character that I’m not convinced was necessary for the plot. Maybe we should consider it to be an exploitation movie (which would explain the scene); there is a suitably exploitative over-the-top ‘in yer face’ finale that is brilliant.
The cast is great, Vincent Cassell relishes his role as the gangster who finds… well I’m not going to give that away either. It’s a thoroughly modern movie in its casting and aesthetic which has an interesting narrative that’s driven with panache.