If you haven’t heard about London Boulevard, it’s about an ex-con (Mitchell) who gets out of prison and is promptly asked by his mate Billy to join his firm. Mitchell decides to reject the offer and he takes up a job as a bodyguard for a reclusive actress. The firm leader won’t let him get away so easily and keeps trying to get him to join his crew, but Mitchell keeps refusing. The firm decides there is no other option then but to kill everyone who’s close to him. Now Mitchell must fight back and put this big bad firm leader in his place, all while falling in love with the actress he’s supposed to be protecting.
I went into this movie expecting an all-out British gangster flick. I thought it was going to be a class A British-fuelled action-packed movie with hints of dark humour (such as the films Rock ‘n’ Roller and Snatch). However, what I got was not what I expected. It seemed to be a long, drawn-out film with not much happening through the whole thing. On the plus side, the acting was superb, but I would not expect any less from Colin Farrell (Mitchell) or Keira Knightley (Charlotte). As much as I enjoyed their acting, the characters themselves just seemed to be relatively boring.
I was hoping for Colin Farrell’s character to be this hot-shot badass showing everybody who’s boss, but instead you get an unwilling ex-con who just wants to get on with his life but has been dragged back into the brutal life of crime. I know that sounds better but it kinda’ deflated his character. I was expecting him to be more brutal. At least all was not lost in probably what I would classify as the best part of the film: the last ten minutes. Mitchell showed his dark side and how brutal he could truly be; but to wait through the entire movie to get to it almost made the wait not worth it.
Keira Knightley’s character seemed a bit not needed in the film. She plays Charlotte, the actress who hires Mitchell to be her bodyguard from all the press, which seems fine, but she just becomes more of a time waist in the film. Her character ends up falling in love with Colin Farrel’s character (which is expected), but there seems to be no other tie-in with the rest of the story. It was like I was watching two different films. On one side you’ve got this gangster story and on the other we have a love story, and they really didn’t blend well with each other.
The film is nothing like the trailer, which showed so much action and drama, but that was pretty much all the best parts of every bit of action. So everything seen in the trailer is what makes the film worth watching, but by the time we are watching the film we’ve already seen the best parts. I gotta’ say I expected more from this film when the trailer showed humour, action and what seemed to be a good storyline, but really the trailer showed the beginning and ending of the film and neglected to warn us about all the boring story in-between. The start of the film was good, but other than that it’s a mild gangster-themed romance story, and neither genre is done well in London Boulevard.
I didn’t get along with this film very much and neither will people who expected the same feel as what was shown in the trailer and what people are used to with British gangster flicks. I think the thing that is most enjoyed in these types of films is the brutality and how realistic they feel. It wasn’t a bad movie, it was just boring and since the trailers made it seem as though it would be action-packed, it put the film down even more. I would say if you’re looking for a romantic gangster flick that you and your partner could enjoy, watch this movie. But if you’re looking for action and realistic brutality from a British film, watch The Crew, The Business or The Essex Boys. I give London Boulevard 2 out of 5 Nerdskulls.