Thursday, 28 February 2013

No.73 : The Veteran

The Veteran at the IMDB

What a rip off ; there was nobody healing animals at all throughout this film!

What we get is a kind of ‘Harry Brown’ meets ‘The Bourne Identity’ as a soldier returns from Afghanistan to his sink estate home to find it under the control of drug lords. Our man isn’t intimidated and smacks a few around. The local kingpin is impressed and offers him work which he refuses, despite the veiled threats of 'choosing sides'.

Meanwhile, a meeting with other ex-soldiers gives him the chance to get back to some kind of work, running black ops for a shady intelligence outfit, as you do. All the while we realise he is on the edge, with subtle clues like him constantly punching walls giving away his inner torment.

His first operation goes well as he uncovers a back street bomb factory but he soon gets in deep as he befriends a possible double agent woman and engages with his always shouting boss, Brian Cox. He slowly realises that his two worlds are not so far apart and that and it’s going to take a lot of shooting to clean up the estate and stop a possible terrorist outrage.

I didn’t really take to this film from the off. The grim sink estate setting and washed out colour palette did nothing to draw me in and the lead lacks any sympathy or charisma whatsoever. The feral yoof were well realised but it never really touched upon why they are being furnished with Uzi 9mms by the shady intel community. They is some blather about ‘GOD’ - Guns, Oil and drugs but why the poweres that be would align themselves with some foul mouthed youth isn’t addressed.

 I think the director was trying to set a sense of disconnectedness with our hero’s action scenes being so random that we weren’t sure if it was real or fantasy. This is maybe burrowing too deep, as at the end of the day it was a mish mash of a plot tail-ended by some crowd pleasing vermin control.

It is hard to be too tough on a film that clearly has a shoe-string budget but if the script had been more rounded and clear there would be a decent film to be had here. Brian Cox looks like he did his couple of scenes in a day, despite his high billing and although you might recognise a couple of faces the names will escape you.

The blood soaked finale was out of step with the rest of the film and you have to wonder if they thought- ‘Sod it let’s have a big shoot out’. The action was well choreographed and the hardware impressive. The finale with its hints towards a damned future was seen a mile off and it’s just a shame things ended with so many plot threads left hanging.

THE Tag Line : Call a Vet - this needs shooting  56%

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