"Brighton Rock" by Yojimbo
Yojimbo - wrote on 04/30/13
Upon the murder of his gangland boss, a young hoodlum kills the perpetrator in retribution but he must find a way to silence a potential witness in the form of a smitten waitress. The idea of transferring Graham Greene's classic novel to the 1960s certainly has its appeal and the scenes involving the rioting mods and rockers are really nicely done by first time director Joffe. He also has a very good eye for an image, which combined with some attractive cinematography, clearly echoing that of the most celebrated Greene adaptation The Third Man, makes for a very good looking film. Helen Mirren also proves she can still turn on the sex appeal as the ageing cougar hell bent on preventing Rose from making the same mistakes of her own youth and John Hurt can always be counted on for some characterful support. Joffe's inexperience behind the camera does show however, in that some of the visual metaphors are rather heavy handed, particularly for the rather unsatisfying concluding scene. But by far the biggest problem for me was the protagonist; Pinkie is a thoroughly unpleasant character on every level and Sam Riley's sullen performance makes for a "hero" it's impossible to like or have any sympathy for whatsoever. For this reason it's not perfect, but Brighton Rock certainly has its moments and shows some promise for Joffe's future career.