Monday, August 27, 2012

Gangster No.1 - Just A Quick Review

Directed by: Paul McGuigan
Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Paul Bettany and David Thewlis
Released: 2000
Runtime: 103 minutes
Rating: 4/5

Gangster No. 1 is the 2000 British film directed by Paul McGuigan that tells the violent and gritty story of an unnamed aging gangster played by Malcolm McDowell who looks back on his life as a young lad (Paul Bettany) rising up the ranks in the London criminal underworld.

This is a great gangster flick that in my opinion is much underrated. It portrays a very stylised world of crime, that’s seductive and brutally violent. It captures Britain of the late 60s very well; with the fashions, music, night life and vivid colours.

Nobody can swear like British gagsters; they have this ability to put real sting on it; like a verbal punch to the face or a kick to the stomach.

Paul Bettany as the young gangster is utterly terrifying, hungry for power and addicted to criminal life like it were a hard drug. He’s an absolute psychopath. His performance blends in well with Malcolm McDowell’s who is equally impressive.

Also David Thewlis is excellent as the stylish crime boss Freddy Mayes. Who acts a mentor to our unnamed leading character whilst also becoming the object of his obsession and possibly affection.

Gangster No.1, it’s entertaining, ugly and at times funny in a sick and twisted way. Do yourself a favour and check it out. 4/5

A video review is also available on my YouTube channel.

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