11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Great Cast, Great Music, Not So Great Story,
This review is from: London Boulevard (DVD)
This is a directorial debut for William Monahan, Oscar winning writer for Martin Scorsese-directed "The Departed." With two names Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley, you may expect something great in "London Boulevard" (the name is probably inspired by "Sunset Boulevard"). The end result is somewhat disappointing, though.
Colin Farrell is Mitchel, an ex-convict who just got out of prison. Being hired as a bodyguard for a famous actress Charlotte (Keira Knightley) living a secluded life surrounded by the paparazzi, Mitchel starts thinking of a new life plan, but his old friends including Billy (Ben Chaplin) won't let him do that. And when a brutal local gangster Gant (Ray Winstone) steps in, things get more complicated and dangerous.
Based on the book of the same title by Ken Bruen (author of "Blitz," basis of a Jason Statham film), "London Boulevard" is a British film noir with great atmosphere and on-location shots (thanks to the Oscar-winning cinematographer Chris Menges, "The Mission"). The cast is interesting, including David Thewlis and Anna Friel, with unanimously effective acting (though typecast Winstone was much better in "Edge of Darkness" for which William Monahan wrote the script).
The film's problem is obvious: too many subplots and characters. Anna Friel's role as Mitchel's sister is underdeveloped, and so is the character of Keira Knightley, who looks terribly bored. The story doesn't know where it is going (what does Mitchel or Charlotte really want to do anyway?). The film's pace is rushed (especially the second half) and the conclusion is a huge letdown.
The best part of the film is some stylish shots and the classic 60s rock soundtrack including The Yardbirds (used three times in the film).