Harry Brown (Review)

HARRY BROWN
(4/30/10; Crime Thriller)
Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, Ben Drew, Charlie Creed-Miles, David Bradley, Jack O’Connell, Liam Cunningham
SCR: Gary Young
DIR: Daniel Barber
MPAA: R for strong violence and language throughout, drug use and sexual content.
1 hour 43 mins
BOX: $1,818,681

Caine channels his inner Charles Bronson in this lean, mean vigilante flick that finds the old man dismayed his old neighborhood – a council estate in South London – has turned into a thriving hotbed of crime. Harry keeps to himself until his old mate Leonard (Bradley) is murdered with the bayonet he carried around as protection.

Harry buys a gun in a harrowing sequence that illustrates exactly how unprepared for the revenge game he really is. And while the story is no more complicated than it needs to be, Caine is superb, vacillating between sad, angry, mournful, and tentative – Clint Eastwood, he’s not. Speaking of which, Harry Brown was knocked for being to similar to Eastwood’s Gran Torino (2008) but I beg to differ.

When Eastwood starts kicking people’s asses, all is right in the universe. When Caine points a gun for the first time, you know something is very, very wrong. (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

— DENNIS WILLIS

Author: Dennis Willis

Dennis Willis is an award-winning producer, TV host, producer, director, editor (he preferred Avid until a torrid affair with Adobe Premiere, and the rest is history), author and film critic (print and radio). Dennis produced and hosted the TV programs Reel Life, FilmTrip, Soundwaves (1983-2008) and produces the annual Soundwaves Xmas program. He is currently the film critic on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and a member of both the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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