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Top reviews from the United States
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Enjoyed it for the most part. James McAvoy and Mark Strong definitely carried this film despite the stories standard fair plot. Action scenes were well done and I guess the big twist at the end was pretty good, but I felt disappointed on the abrupt ending. There was no real resolution to the deeper plot really. But nonetheless its worth a watch.
An up-and-coming London detective (Max Lewinsky) gets shot in the leg by a notorious criminal (Jacob Sternwood) during a bank heist. The injury he sustains makes him limp. He becomes obsessed with catching the guy who did this to him. Few years later, an opportunity arises when the criminal's son, who also happens to follow in his father's footsteps, gets caught. The detective uses the son as a bait to lure in the criminal father. What the detective does not know is that the son is involved in a wider criminal scheme that will involve corrupt police officers, politicians, prominent weapon manufacturer, and a group of mercenaries...
What I have noticed lately is that James McAvoy has become a sort of English version of Leonardo DiCaprio...they almost look identical and both have made similar type of movies...ranging from comedies, dramas all the way to action.
Welcome to the Punch (2013) is just like other police-crime-drama-action movies made in England. So you if you liked: Blitz (2011), Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Layer Cake (2004), Get Carter (1971), Long Good Friday (1980), Revolver (2005), Rock n Rolla (2008), Snatch (2000), The Bank Job (2008), Blood (2012), The Crew (2008), Clubbed (2008), Bonded by Blood (2010), Essex Boys (trilogy), and a bunch of others...you will most likely also like this one.
I said that before and I will say it again: England (Great Britain) produced and is still producing ----the best action-police-crime movies in Europe, and one of the best in the world---- !!!
I took a shot and bought this movie not knowing whether I was going to keep my hand on the remote to fast forward when necessary like I did with the regrettable purchase of "Bullet To The Head". I see other reviewers complain mostly about the story line; which in my mind was totally secondary to the characters and their intensity; especially since historically americans have a hard time understanding Brits to begin with. Even the score contributed to the tense atmosphere; I gotta tell you that I enjoyed it thoroughly!
McAvoy and Mark Strong both give OUTSTANDING performances. Fun to watch from start to finish. I was a little confused by the story-line at first, but it was all tied together nicely at the end. Somewhat grim, keep in mind the subject matter, this isn't Alice in Wonderland, it's about gun running and crooked cops and politicians. Good writing and acting throughout.
Reviewed in the United States on September 9, 2014
The bonus feature mentions that a lot of back-story was cut, which left the film with a lot of action (shooting, punching, yelling); that's all well and good, but personally, I would have preferred a three-hour film that made the characters more three-dimensional, and made the motivations and the story-line a little more clear. The two main characters are both intense.
4.0 out of 5 starsEnjoyed the film but perhaps a little slow...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 5, 2014
Enjoyed the film but not sure about James McAvoy in this role to be honest. I was really looking forward to this film as I am a fan of Mark Strong but I felt that it was a little slow and perhaps the character that McAvoy was cast to play was not suitable for him and I was disappointed by this as I usually like James McAvoy in other roles. He plays a man broken over his injury while in hot pursuit of a criminal but I felt that it wasn't really believable that he would be just as cut up about what happened that he would allow his career to be affected etc.
Mark Strong carried the entire film and he actually could have been cast in either of the lead roles. A great performance by him especially during the scenes which were about his son.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 6, 2014
No action better than this as this will have you tied to the chair, A criminal that has been hiding and a lawman that has being trying to catch him for a while. The son has been shot during a heist and now dad has come back risking being caught. Sounds great so I must mention that this has a few twist and turns that has both men looking over there shoulder as there is an conspiracy unfolding that will hit them full on and keep you guessing. Fantastic full on action and suspense that I rated this an A grade plus actors are brilliant and the story is a winner. Now where's the popcorn, get a move on you don't want to miss anything do you, time to place your feet up and relax to a fabulous show that you will soon be watching. Marvellous entertainment coming your way with a bit of that and this thrown in as well to keep you amused. No sleeping in this one. Enjoy!
A very good film - highly underrated - I thoroughly enjoyed it, as did my son when he borrowed it and he is the world's worse film critic, he can find fault with any film and when he returned it he floored me by saying that it was a very impressive film