Based on the book by Ken Bruen, London Boulevard stars Colin Farrell as a man fresh from a 3 year spell in prison for GBH. After trying to stay on the straight and narrow he ends up falling for a recluse movie star (Keira Knightley) and upsetting a Gangster boss (Ray Winstone). Add to that some great supporting actors such as David Thewlis (Professor Lupin from Harry Potter) and Anna Friel, London Boulevard should be a decent modern Gangster flick…

Mitchel (Colin Farrell) is shown leaving prison and getting back to his friend, Billy’s (Ben Chaplin), flat where he’s pressured into doing just ‘one job’ to earn some money until he gets back on his feet. After resisting and going to a party down his local boozer, Mitchel stops a mugging on a young girl who introduces him to her friend who is looking for a handyman. The ‘friend’ being movie star and worldwide phenomenon Charlotte (Keira Knightley) who has become a recluse and not able to handle the media attention.
London Boulevard 2010 film review Colin Farrell PlayEject
While all this is going on, Billy’s boss shows an interest in Mitchel and wants to hire him to his gangster empire. Notorious as being violent and a bit messed up in the head, Gant (Ray Winstone) drags Mitchel into the Gangster way of life against his will which only angers Mitchel like poking a lion with a stick!

From there London Boulevard feels like it has 2 stories running in tandem – the love story and the gangster aspect. Its all done very well and the story line moves along at quite a fast pace despite the difficulty in understanding some of the dialogue that goes on between some of the characters. There’s a lot of whispering and soft speaking to start with to emphasis the importance of the characters but also sets out the base of the plot involving Mitchel and Gant. Its very well written but a shame that we had to crank the volume up so loud and ask each other what someone just said because we couldn’t quite catch it all.

There’s also a few pointless and confusing parts – we won’t spoil anything in the film but there’s a character who is in a few scenes throughout – never speaks yet is built up as as important character. He appears at one point with a gun in his hand and yet he never actually does anything – its as if his big scene was cut from the final version.
London Boulevard 2010 film review Colin Farrell PlayEject
There’s also a couple of parts that are confusing in the story – mainly because we couldn’t understand what was just said so didn’t know why they were arguing and fighting but London Boulevard is one of those films that if you watch for a second time you will pick more up and things do make more sense.

The love story develops pretty quickly between Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley which is midly frustrating – the famous movie star goes from being untrusting of everyone and anything to falling in love and dashing off the countryside with a man who’s recently out of prison who she doesn’t really know. Maybe we’re not whisked away with the romance of it all but it doesn’t really click somehow.

But for all its faults, London Boulevard kept us hooked for the duration – the clever story, great supporting cast and modern gangster cliches went down a treat. Watching for a second time cleared up some of the more confusing parts but not everyone will want to do that.

London Boulevard – Trailer

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