Wednesday 7 April 2010

Sexy Beast: review

Sexy Beast is a highly acclaimed gangster movie, and although it was first screened ten years ago, I’ve only now got round to watching it. The cast is superb, and they make the most of a script which, with lesser performers, might have seemed rather thin.

Ray Winstone plays the part of ‘Gal’ Dove, a robber who is enjoying a wealthy early retirement in a luxurious villa in a remote part of Spain. He lives with his beloved wife and former porn star Deedee (Amanda Redman, who is as good as usual), and they spend their days sunning themselves and socialising with old ‘business’ friends, Aitch and Jackie.

All is well until Don Logan, a criminal from Gal’s past, show up. Surprise, surprise, he wants Gal to take part in one more job, and he won’t take no for an answer. Logan is played by Ben Kingsley – and it’s a memorable performance, since Logan is a monstrous sociopath. In the end, Gal returns to London, where he teams up with former colleagues working for a cold-eyed murderer (Ian McShane, who conveys menace brilliantly.) The plan is to rob a vault – the vital information having been leaked to McShane’s character by an effete banker played by James Fox. But where has Logan disappeared to?

Compared to, say, the brilliant Layer Cake, Sexy Beast is short of plot. But it’s a skilfully made film, with several clever touches, as well as flashes of humour to redeem a lot of nastiness. Winstone is, like the other key members of the cast, a charismatic actor, and overall I thought this film was well worth watching. But be warned – if bad language and explicit violence bother you, this is a movie to avoid.


Ann Elle Altman said...

That really is a great cast. It's amazing that those actors agreed to do a movie with such a shallow plot.


pattinase (abbott) said...

I thought Ben Kingsley created one of the scariest villains ever. Went home shaking but loving it.

seana graham said...

I loved this movie. But in my book, Ray Winstone can do no wrong. Although I think my favorite role of his was Vince in Last Orders. However, that's not a crime movie, so a bit off topic here.

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks for your comments. Seana, I haven't seen Last Orders, but I've heard it's very good.