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Sexy Beast

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 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 Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

Ah, it's the good life. Retired from the daily grind of making a living as a British gangster, Gary "Gal" Dove (Ray Winstone), accompanied by his wife DeeDee (Amanda Redman), lives in a remote Spanish villa. With their fellow British friends, Aitch (Cavan Kendall) and Jackie (Julianne White), they are retired and comfortable.

One day, into this life of contentment comes an unwelcome reminder of Gal's past, a scary hood whose mere name, Don Logan, causes everyone to freeze. With a bald head, big ears and a menacing goatee, Ben Kingsley, in another of his bravado performances, plays Don. Like Gandhi's evil twin, Don uses silence and laser-like glares to frighten the wits out of anyone who dares to cross his path.

SEXY BEAST, directed by Jonathan Glazer and written by Louis Mellis and David Scinto, has the intensity and the staccato dialog of a David Mamet film. Don is there to make Gal an offer that he can't refuse, literally. Don needs Gal's help on one more job. Gal makes up his mind to turn down the offer, but he explains to DeeDee that Don is not someone who allows disagreements. Although normally possessing a demeanor that's roughly the equivalent to the calm of the eye in the center of a hurricane, Don can be riled. In his most explosive scene, Kingsley starts shouting, "No, no, no, ..." with machine gun cadence and force.

The melancholy music suggests that all is not going to go well. And Gal's close escape from a freak, killer boulder is an unmistakable omen. The story's real questions are how Don will convince Gal to do his bidding and who might end up dead in the process. Although there are a few nice twists along the way, this is a crime drama that uses the force of the characters, not cheap plot tricks, to maintain the tension. Only those who require non-stop action will leave disappointed.

Copyright 2001 Steve Rhodes

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