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Riveting in his intensity, Ben Kingsley delivers "his best performance ever" (Premiere Magazine) in this high-voltage crime thriller that crackles with chilling style and wit. A savage gangstere name Don Logan (Kingsley) is met with resistance when he tries to recruit a retired pal (Ray Winstone) for "one last job." But Logan just won't take no for an answer...
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The other surprising performance, at least to me, is that of Ian McShane as mob boss, Teddie Bass, the Prince of Darkness. After seeing McShane's Teddy in action, I wouldn't have wanted to go back to London and tell him "Gal" said "no" either. I have been familiar with McShane's work for the past forty years. He has always been a very capable actor delivering good performances consistently However, he always played light comedic roles. I was very surprised when he was chosen to play another Prince of Darkness, Swearningen in HBO's "Deadwood. I wonder if it might have been this performance as Teddie which caused him to be chosen for the Deadwood role.
Ray Winstone gives his usual excellent performance as the retired safe cracker, afraid of the damage Don can do to his family and friends if he refuses to join the "job" but not wanting to do the one more job which could land him in prison long enough for it to be a life sentence.
The story is intriguing; the performances are amazing. This is a must see movie for all noir mystery fans.
I saw the bunny character as the Devil, and Don in Hell, mean enough to give even Satan a run for his money. Maybe that is really who the bunny character in "Donny Darko" is also.
This movie, once again, showcases McShane as the mastermind of a super heist, this time as Teddy Bass "Mr. Black Magic Himself" and it show that 23 years has not dulled McShane's black magic one bit. Though not the star of the movie, he steals the show, which is no mean feat with the super cast which includes Ben Kingsley and James Fox.
Ray Winstone plays a former London gangster that has retired to the good life in Spain. As far as he is concerned he is out of the business, happy with the lay-back life and wants nothing to do with the old 'business'. However, Teddy Bass is masterminding a big heist of James Fox's futurist, security controlled bank ( with a little help from Fox ) and he has put out he wants Winstone in on the job, so he sends Ben Kingsly to convince Windstone the error of his refusal.
It is sharply written with intelligent wit, superbly acted from beginning to end. It is an intellectual gangster film, that has a cold heart and tongue through cheek.
One superb work form beginning to end.
Enter Don Logan (Ben Kingsley) a completely psychopathic, amoral mobster from England, come to recruit Gal for one last job. The verbal abuse is withering. The threat of violence is palpable. No one is immune. We learn about Dee Dee's past as a porn-star, about Jackie's relationship with Logan. Cut in are Gal's surrealistic dream sequences involving the devil. Is it Logan himself or is it Logan triggering angst about Gal's past? What job does Logan want Gal to do? What was their past? Will Gal relent? How can he possibly say "no"?
Masterful acting job by Kingsley. The totality of his amoral personality is truly terrifying. Hard to imagine that such a diminuitive physical presence can generate so much fear. Beautifully filmed. Very imaginative cuts and fades. Surreal dream sequences of devil are interesting. For non-British English speakers, it helps to watch with English subtitles on.
One thing that I felt was an unfortunate bit of misdirection on the director's part was the whole boulder thing at the beginning. I had assumed that there were someone stalking the man's residence, as payback for something in the past, and that the Spanish kid was somehow complicit. Did you get that feeling?
What I should have been focusing on was Kingsley! BTW, he supposedly based this role on his grandmother, whom he has said was "an extremely unpleasant woman.")
His performance was so incredible, so disturbing, it could have carried the movie by itself. All that business with the rabbit-headed man was a waste of screen time. From the minute Logan appears on the screen, you want to know more and more about him, and press deeper and deeper into how he became the way he is and where he wants to go in life.
Unfortunately, the director didn't give us much of that. Just some rabbit-headed dude running around and a red-herring boulder in the pool. What a waste.