Welcome to the Punch (2013)

Movie Title: Welcome to the Punch

Year Released: 2013

Rated: R

Runtime: 1h 39min

Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller

Director: Eran Creevy

Writer: Eran Creevy

Starring: James McAvoy, Mark Strong, Andrea Riseborough, Johnny Harris, Daniel Mays, David Morrissey, Peter Mullan, Natasha Little, Daniel Kaluuya, Ruth Sheen, Jason Flemyng, Elyes Gabel, Robert Portal

Review: When his son is hospitalized a master criminal (Mark Strong) is forced to come out of hiding and return to London. This gives an obsessed detective (James McAvoy) one last chance at redemption by taking him down once and for all.

Welcome to the Punch is a tremendous thriller that's part cop drama, part fast-paced action-er, part conspiracy mystery, part character study, all of which equal a visually stylishly crime potboiler that highly entertaining.

What attracted me to his movie, besides the interesting title, was the stellar cast which includes James McAvoy, Mark Strong, Andrea Riseborough, Daniel Kaluuya, David Morrissey, and Peter Mullan. They're all fantastic here and their characters are so interesting you can't help but get sucked right into the story. McAvoy's consuming pursuit of Mark Strong's calm and cool criminal really let's these two actors a chance to give their characters depth and faults that add much more to the mood and story. The premise seems like a old hat for these type of crime thrillers, but there are many surprises, reveals, and double-crosses that I certainly didn't see coming. My only really criticism is that the plot does get a little convoluted during the climax of the movie, but it's forgivable.

The film's intensity in the performances, the action, and the style are what sets Welcome to the Punch well above your average cops-and-robbers fare. It's one of those hidden gems that's sure to entertain fans of the crime genre.

Stars (out of 4):

Fun Fact: Both actors James McAvoy and Jason Flemyng starred in X-Men First Class (2011).


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