We Still Kill the Old Way (DVD 2014)
This short review includes a spoiler. I won’t give away the ending but to be honest it’s not that difficult to anticipate the movie’s outcome – who wins, who loses. Since I quite enjoy British crime drama (well, not the cosy-crime type), and since the DVD was for sale at around £7.00, it seemed a good idea to buy and watch.
The film begins with gratuitous vocals and violence. This was done to signal that the E2 mob is just a bunch of obnoxious thugs with no morality – unlike the old days of gentlemen gangsters, diamond geezers who kept their streets safe for the local residents. The E2 gang, led by Aaron, are in the process of raping a teenager, Lauren, when an old man, Charlie, stumbles on the scene and attempts to stop them. He is rewarded by being kicked to death. But it just so happens that Charlie is a “retired” gangster, from the days of the Krays and other London gangs. His brother Richie, also retired, soon returns to London to exact revenge – or justice as he sees it. Richie enlists his gang of granddads – folk from the old days with nicknames such as Butcher (you can guess why). Very quickly he discovers who the culprits are – torturing a few gang members comes in to it. All this leads to the inevitable finale.
I have three big issues with this film. Firstly, the acting is unconvincing in most cases, although Richie (Ian Ogilvy is having fun, as are some of the other older, experienced actors). This “stiffness” could be due to a script that’s too obvious – Jan and I (watching the film) predicted the dialogue as the film progressed. And thirdly, the lazy plot device that all but killed the film for us: Laura’s mother is a police detective; and when Richie returns to London he meets said detective who’s in charge of investigating the murder of Charlie (she doesn’t know about her daughter’s involvement or the attempted rape). Out of all the women cops in London, Richie should meet with … and so on. It’s a plot device that’s too convenient and so obvious. Please!
Despite the violence very little is explicit on the screen – the viewer draws the picture in his or her mind. Overall, it’s a vigilante film that passes a couple of hours if you have nothing better to do. Wait until it comes to Film 4 and save your pennies.
Reviewed by Peter Coleborn