I heard occasional buzz of surprise around the opening of Harry Brown that 77 year old Michael Caine was doing a revenge movie.
I'm not sure if it's just newcomers to his career or just people surprised he's gone back to it. I just see the star of Get Carter back in action, and that sounds exciting to me.
And, as Caine goes, he remains as cool as ever, a born action star quite frankly, and should have taken more opportunities to show that off.
The trouble with revenge movies, and I say this as a super big fan of the genre, is that unless they set out specifically to make an action movie, they tend to get confused around the beginning of the third act whether they're a drama or an action movie.
The ones that stand out in my memory as exceptions are the original Death Wish, Death Sentence and Red, all of which may benefit from being based on books.
This movie is no exception, although I thought the stumble was relatively minor. Perhaps more because of Caine's natural believability than anything to do with the writing or direction of the movie.
The saying goes that casting is 80% of directing, and I'd not credit director Daniel Barber with having done anything exceptional with the other 20% of his job. It happens that the casting, from Caine right down the line, is so fantastic that the movie is never less than watchable, and is quite often gripping.
Now, can someone keep casting old man Caine as the badass we can all see he ought to be? I believe 80 year old guys like him and Clint Eastwood kicking ass all over than I do most young guys they cast in action movies these days. I don't think that says good thing about the future of action cinema, but I'll take what I can get while it's there for the taking.