by Dan Bryans
REVIEW: The Krays – Dead Man Walking
“An entertaining, intelligent British movie” – 4 Star’s
I heard the producer of this new Britflick on the radio the other night refer to it as a ‘McDonalds movie’ if Tom Hardy Krays biopic Legend was a steak dinner. It isn’t a bad analogy but despite the low expectations for any new film about The Krays, this is at least a Big Mac.
The film focusses on infamous felon Frank Mitchell, ‘The Mad Axeman’ who the Kray twins broke out of prison and holed up in a grotty flat while they tried to negotiate a release date for him with the government. It isn’t the best plan and it goes predictably wrong, which makes for some good moments of drama in this unusual and original film.
Mitchell is played by Josh Myers, an actor who has been working his way through the British indie ranks in a series of sequels to successful films such as Bonded By Blood 2 and Rise of the Footsoldier 3. Here he is given a platform to shine and his natural screen presence makes him a memorable protagonist even if he lacks the raw thuggery of Craig Fairbrass or Tamer Hassan. His best scenes are with Rita Simons, who plays an escort hired by the Krays to entertain Mitchell and delivers a subtle, sophisticated performance which makes one wish she had more screen time.
The most fun with the film is the great cast of classic British actors, relishing chewing the scenery and lapping up the sweary dialogue. TV favourites such as Guy Henry, Chris Ellison and Nicholas Ball are all on hand to turn up overcoat collars and purr and growl in equal measure and even Leslie Grantham, Dirty Den himself, shows up as Nipper Read, though he looks altogether too ill to make you think the Krays would have much problem outrunning his dogged determination.
The film is not without its problems – it never really feels like the sixties and the claustrophobic atmosphere is unnecessarily depressing, but it tries to do something different in a well trodden genre and for the most part succeeds. An entertaining, intelligent British movie that the DVD-buying public is bound to lap up.