|McAvoy delivers an explosive performance.|
Directed by Jon S. Baird
Produced by Ken Marshall, Jon S. Baird, Trudie Styler, Jens Meurer, Celine Rattray, Will Clarke, James McAvoy, Christian Angermayer, Mark Amin and Stephen MaoWritten by Jon S. Baird (based on the novel)
Starring James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Joanne Froggatt, Imogen Poots, Eddie Marsan and Jim Broadbent
This small British import stars James McAvoy as Detective Bruce Robertson, a reckless police officer gaming for a big promotion. After a murder case drops in his lap, he tries to find the murderer, whilst dealing with other co-workers who may be up for the job. Though, the murder case is an afterthought next to the drugs, alcohol, kinky sexual encounters, violence, and, of course, the promotion. As Bruce wiggles his way in and out of various obstacles on the job, his torn psyche threatens his sanity, and he might just be in over his head.
If either Bad Lieutenant film qualifies as a crazy movie experience, this ranks easily with them, if not above. James McAvoy gives so much energy in an explosion of wit, machismo, fun, aggression, guilt and brokenness. His performance rivals the unleashed greatness of Leonardo DiCaprio's fierce turn in The Wolf of Wall Street last year. The film, sadly, does not match the level of his performance. While the editing is fast-paced, the structure of the humorous scenes and intense dramatic ones is too messy and, at times, overly bizarre. (McAvoy's Trance last year thrived on a chaotic makeup, yet this just feels like a mixed bag.) In Bruges did black comedy just right, and it's hard not to measure every new attempt by that standard. This one falls short, but McAvoy's performance is a fine turn for the actor, probably the best he's ever done.
Oscar Potential: None (but McAvoy deserves a serious Best Actor push)