Welcome to the Punch – 7/10.

A cat and mouse crime thriller starring James McAvoy as gruff, gloomy policeman Max and Mark Strong as super villain (obviously). The rest of the cast is a who’s who ‘oh, it’s that guy from’. So we have oh, it’s that nerdy version of Danny Dyer from Ashes to Ashes and The Firm (Daniel Mays), oh its that lovely Scottish bearded chap from Boy A and Tyrannosaur (Peter Mullan), oh it’s Tealeaf from Psychoville/Your man from the x factor episode of Black Mirror (Daniel Kaluuya), oh it’s the rapey dad from the This is England series (Johnny Harris), and finally oh it’s the governor from The Walking Dead with his fabulous sweeping hair (David Morrissey). They all do their job admirably in their unshowy, British actor way. James McAvoy does well in an unfamiliar role, totally deprived of Scottish wisecracking which is his speciality. Mark Strong plays that same character he has been playing for ten years but he does it with aplomb. The story ambles on in predictable fashion until around the hour mark when it starts to get interesting. I wont give anything away but it is worth sticking with until then. The story is good, although they try to cram a little too much into the final twenty minutes. The biggest let down is the script. No stand out lines and not much humour in a movie that is crying out for it given the talents of the cast. Anyway overall a decent addition to the roster of British gangster flicks and worth a look.

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