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Starring: Paddy Considine, Gary Stretch, Toby Kebbell, Jo Hartley
Director: Shane Meadows
Rating: M18 (Mature Theme)
Year Made: 2004








Languages: English
Subtitles: English & Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Letterbox
Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0/5.1
Running Time: 1 hr 32 mins
Region Code: 3
Distributor: Comstar Entertainment




Richard has always protected his little brother Anthony. Richard is strong and fair, while the loving and gentle Anthony is simple minded. When Richard leaves the rural village where they have grown up, to join the army, Anthony is taken in by Sonny, a controlling and vicious local drug dealer, and his gang of lads. Anthony becomes the gang's pet and plaything, as they initiate him into their sordid worldly ways. 7 years later, Richard returns for revenge.


There is nothing more fearful than a person full of revenge. Remember how that lady in Quentin Taratino’s Kill Bill (2003, 2004) created so much havoc? And so much bloodshed that the red fluid from her victims was enough to fill a river?

All because she wanted revenge.

While we remember laughing our heads off over that movie, we won’t imagine you doing the same with this one. In fact, it is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. It may probably give some viewers so much disturbance that they’d be thinking about how brutal mankind can be long after the credits roll.

The underrated Paddy Considine plays a disheartened brother who returns from army, only to find himself turning into a killing machine to seek revenge for his mentally-challenged brother. The poor thing was humiliated and shamed by the local bullies, and his older brother isn’t too happy about that.

When a man becomes vengeful, you better not go anywhere near him.

The no-nonsense 86-minute film gets to its point without spending unnecessary time trying to explain redundant details. You see the protective brother carrying out his deeds about 10 minutes into the picture.

At first, you’d be wondering his motive of carrying out such actions. Then, through a series of perfectly executed black-and-white flashback sequences, you see how the unfortunate fellow (played by a very sympathetic Toby Kebbell) was a plaything for those mean-spirited thugs.

This is where you empathize with the older brother’s cruel killings.

What starts off as simple army guerilla scare tactics soon evolve into a full-fledged killing spree that aims to wipe clean every member of the bully gang. When you realize how bloody things have become, it is already too late, and this is where you may reflect upon your own notions of revenge and violence.

Considine’s portrayal of this executor contains the right amount of anger and rage without stepping into the borders of being too unrealistically dramatic. In fact, he was nominated and awarded with several acting awards for this role.

Thanks to director Shane Meadows’ vision, this film brings you into its cold and unfeeling world through a gritty home video style which transports you from scene to scene with its raw camera work. The killing scenes bring out the worst in man without being exploitative.

But the movie has softer moments too. Songs with depressing lyrics open each killing segment with sentimentality. And the opening sequence showing how the two brothers growing up in bliss and happiness is one of the most heartwarming clips we have seen so far.

So when the movie closes with an abrupt finale, followed by a calming wide shot of open fields and lands, we were left totally shaken and affected.


The visuals are nicely transferred onto the disc, and you need not worry about losing any grittiness during those vicious scenes. There is English Dolby Digital 2.0 and 5.1 to choose from, and you might want to switch on the subtitles because of the heavy British accent throughout the film.


This Code 3 DVD does not include any special features. If the movie can already affect us so much with its unsettling content, we wonder what more special features can do.



Review by John Li



Other titles from Comstar:

. The Haunted Apartments

. Tony Takitani

. Sex & Philosophy

. Factotum

. Me And You And Everyone We Know

. Lemming

. Adam's Apple

. Crazy

. Invisible Waves

. Paradise Now

. She's The Man

. Russian Dolls

. Beyond The Sea

. Kursk

. Voice

. The Last Communist

. Jasmine Women

. Running Wild

. You are my Sunshine

. My Girl & I

. Half Light

. Mur (The Wall)

. Mrs Henderson Presents

. Hidden

. The Descent

. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

. A Season for Love

. Horror Theater Series 2

. Horror Theater Series I

. Capturing the Friedmans

. The Wig

. A Wicked Tale

. As It Is In Heaven

. When I Turned 9



This review is made possible with the kind support from Comstar


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