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Sexy Beast

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Sexy Beast

Starring: Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley
Director: Jonathan Glazer
Rated: R
RunTime: 91 Minutes
Release Date: June 2001
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Suspense


*Also starring: Ian McShane, Amanda Redman, James Fox, Cavan Kendall, Robert Atiko, Julianne White



Review by Susan Granger
2 stars out of 4

Given the hype surrounding this stylish British thriller, there's less to it than meets the eye. Director Jonathan Glazer, best known for his commercials and music videos, executes the sordid gangster story with far more pace, pizzazz and polish one would expect. And that's evident from the quirky opening shot revealing the paunchy, bronzed body of Gal (Ray Winstone), a retired criminal, happily sunning himself on the patio of his villa on Spain's Costa del Sol, where he lives with his wife (Amanda Redman), a former porn star. Suddenly, as he places an ice-water compress on his overheated crotch, a massive boulder falls from an adjacent hillside, landing with a splash atop the intertwined hearts at the bottom of his azure pool. It's a harbinger of things to come as the tranquility of his sun-drenched, sybaritic idyll is threatened by the arrival of a hot-tempered former associate (Ben Kingsley) sent by a London mobster (Ian McShane) to recruit Gal for one last heist. And this is a stubborn thug who won't take no for an answer. After a lethal battle-of-wills, redolent with pent-up rage, hapless Gal winds up in London taking part in a clever underwater robbery. So much for plot. It's the characters that count. Winstone portrays a resistant middle-aged man who is wildly in love with his wife, while the lean, mean Kingsley is charismatic as the forceful, defiant, psychotic criminal. Unfortunately, there are some surreal, self-indulgent, distracting dream sequences involving someone dressed as a menacing rabbit-demon, and the thick East London accents make the staccato dialogue and pervasive profanity often difficult to decipher. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Sexy Beast" is a grim, brutal, tawdry 5. Unless you're into a flashy, nasty Guy Ritchie "Snatch"-type story, you can do better.

Copyright 2001 Susan Granger

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