When the movie The Departed is brought up in conversation, most people think about the astounding performances by Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson. It was without debate, the best mafia movie since Goodfellas. Martin Scorsese lassos much of the credit for directing, but the name behind the pen should also be given honorable mention to back up the Oscar received. William Monahan had also put in work on such screenplays as Kingdom of Heaven, Body of Lies, and Edge of Darkness. Working behind the camera as the head honcho on London Boulevard, would be the sign Monahan is treading into new career territory. It appears as though he won’t be in the unemployment line anytime soon.
Colin Farrell, Keira Knightley, Ray Winstone, David Thewlis, Anna Friel, Ben Chaplin
Mitchel (Farrell), a South London gangster, just wrapped up a three year bid in Pentonville Prison. Now that his incarceration is behind him, he’s a free man, and plans on staying just that. After only being out a short time, he runs into his long time friend Billy (Chaplin), and things start to quickly go back to the way they used to be. Billy offers Mitchell a place to stay in return for his help on an easy and crooked job. Just when Mitchel sees himself right back where he began on the wrong side of the tracks, a beam of light shines his direction. A stunningly beautiful actress named Charlotte (Knightley), is endlessly being hounded by the paparazzi, and is looking for a bit of security. Hoping Mitchel is her knight in shining armor, she quickly hires him to be her bodyguard. Unfortunately, there is a bigger plan waiting in the wings. Mitchel’s friend Bill has his sights set on Charlotte’s valuable art collection and classic cars. If it were anyone else, there would be no problem completing the job. Mitchel just happens to have a thing for Charlotte right off the bat, so his job will be dual-sided. As they make plans to flee to somewhere sunny and away from all the drama, a ruthless mob boss Gant (Winstone), shows up and demands Mitchell join his crew. Telling Mitchel he has no choice but to do so, Gant succeeds in pushing all Mitchel’s wrong buttons. Now it’s on. With his sister, his woman, and his own life in danger, Mitchel comes up with a plan to put the situation to rest, once and for all. He will have to move quick and put his plan into action right away.
Sometimes I wonder who chooses what movies get widely released in theaters worldwide, and which are stuck in purgatory and sent straight to DVD land. Often times I don’t agree with the decision, but later find out why it was made. London Boulevard was released in just 345 screens. Hard to make a killing in such few locations. So I’ve been forced to wait out the DVD arrival for over a year, and now it was time to sink my teeth in. Let me tell you by far, it was a let down. This was a less than average attempt at a crime drama, with more than enough mechanics to get the job done. The cast was set, the setting location was perfect, the story was okay. For some reason the script was infused with little subplots that didn’t matter, and just distracted you from the main events. Mitchel (Farrell) had a sister who contributed no importance to the story whatsoever. They still touched base on her subplot every ten minutes to no avail. Ray Winstone once again played on of the more badass head gangsters since Marlon Brando himself. Unfortunately, it was too late to save the rest of the package deal. The only thing that impressed me was the little surprise awaiting you at the very end of the film. I should have known with the way The Departed ended, but since it had been a few years, it had slipped my mind. London Boulevard was by no means a waste of time, but nothing I would plead my friends to take time out of their day to view.
Amateur Movie Critic