By Marty Mulrooney
I knew from the trailers for Harry Brown that it could end up being amazing, a British Gran Torino, Michael Caine’s swansong, a sharp commentary on British society and gang culture. I also knew that it could potentially be a complete disaster… not everything Caine touches turns to gold and this is director Daniel Barber’s first feature film after all.
To be honest, first impressions were not so good. Shaky camerawork shows a gang of thugs in an underpass, darkly lit, showing off guns and doing drugs. I HATE shaky cams and I was nearly ready to zone out, when I suddenly realised this was actually being recorded from the point of view of an unseen member of the gang on his mobile phone.
We then cut to what has to be one of the most shocking opening scenes I have seen in years, as said thug videos a high speed bike ride from behind one of his friends, before doing something completely chilling to a young, terrified mother in a public park. Once we cut to regular celluloid, Harry Brown has arrived. I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. But I now had hope that it could actually turn out to be a decent little flick.