Welcome to the Punch- 2013
Directed by Eran Creevy
Actors: James McAvoy, Mark Strong, Andrea Riseborough
Genre: Action, Thriller
Summary: A retired thief and his longtime foe–a police detective–reluctantly join forces when they realize an ongoing conspiracy threatens them both.
In today’s world it is hard for an action film to stand out. If it’s not a highly-anticipated super hero installment, or a big-budget reboot, then it’ll most likely be swept under the rug, barely given a second thought. Sometimes it’s hard to enjoy a film as it is, unconsciously comparing it to the one we saw last week, but that’s not our fault. In the end, so many factors go into whether a film is successful, and if it gets swept under the rug, well, there was probably good reason.
Welcome to the Punch is one that falls in that category of ‘Rug Dweller’. But it’s not all that bad. It had potential and there were many things that it did well, if not better, compared to most current films. The cinematography was fantastic, even beautiful. The visual clarity of the film was probably one of the things I liked most about it, with colorful overhead shots of the city and unique camera tricks. Cinematography: 3/3
In terms of genre it was most definitely a standard action/thriller. There wasn’t much brought to the table that I would consider ‘new territory’. The plot was one that we’ve seen time and time again. But the director did try to take what we already new about police thrillers and add a pinch of flavor to it. There were scenes that I literally didn’t blink, especially during the slow-mo scene in the third act, but I’m not quite sure it saved the movie. When it was all said and done, I don’t think the film quite developed its true identity. It seemed torn between whether it wanted to be ‘The Departed’ or ‘Wanted’, not really nearing either film’s level. Directing: 2/3 Genre: 2/3
I was extremely excited to see David Morrissey in something other than ‘The Walking Dead’. He acted incredibly in this film. Actually, the entire cast worked well in this film. There wasn’t a point in the movie where I thought acting was an issue. Mark Strong and James McAvoy were good choices as rivals and Andrea Riseborough did an amazing job at balancing the male dominant playing field. Casting: 3/3
The script was decent and had a well thought out story. There were plot points that I found unbelievable or a bit on the cheesy side. For example, a scene where McAvoy’s character finds glasses at the scene of a crime and knows exactly who they belong to. The movie does try to pass him off as a overly perceptive detective but it just felt too forced and unreal. Writing: 2/3
There isn’t much I can say about the soundtrack/score as there wasn’t much of it. At least, it was fairly forgettable. The sound quality was great, effects and guns sounding true to their nature. But other than that nothing special here. Score: 1/3
Bechdal Test: This is a point I feel strongly about and will include in every review. If you’re unfamiliar with the Bechdal Test, it gauges a movie’s treatment of women based on 3 criteria: 1) Does the movie feature two or more named women? 2) Do they talk to each other? 3) If so, do they speak about something other than the male characters? BT results: 1/3. The movie does have two named women, but they only glance at each other in passing. On top of that, both of the women have, or had, an emotional/sexual connection to the main character at some point.
Other mechanics–Editing: 3/3 Costume Design: 3/3 Set Design: 3/3
O2 Verdict: Toxic/Polluted/Thin/CLEAN/Pure
Welcome to the Punch is now available on Netflix, and in stores to buy. I recommend it for those who like a bit of action and a bit of mystery but not too much of either. It’s worth a watch, but not worth a buy.
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