Saturday, February 18, 2012
BRIGHTON ROCK (2011)
The remake of the 1947 adaptation of the Graham Greene novel about gangsters at Brighton (the title doesn't refer to a location, but to a kind of candy). The original starred Richard Attenborough as Pinky and put the actor on the map, but it's doubtful it will do the same for Sam Riley. It's visually stunning (cinematography by John Mathieson); the director Rowan Jaffe works his tail off to get the most out of it; and Helen Mirren is excellent. But the main problem is that in this version, Pinky isn't particularly threatening or scary and hard to take seriously. And if one can't take Pinky seriously, then it's very difficult to take the story seriously. The story has been updated to the 1960's and set among the Mods and Rockers riots; many critics have criticized this aspect of it, but I thought it very clever.