Almost Hilariously Bad
Let's get to the point, Harry Brown is a terrible movie. It reeks of a lack of effort on everyone's behalf. The writing is half-arsed, the acting is half-arsed and the direction is half-arsed. It almost veers into amusingly bad, but it isn't quite risible due to it's horrible characters.
The titular Harry Brown is a sadistic bastard. We're supposed to relate to him because his family and friends are dead and he's on his own, but how can we relate to a man that kills with every breath and tortures a child molester's victim? We're supposed to believe that this is a Ripped From The Headlines sort of movie, but it is far from it. Every single one of the "yoof" characters are despicable, happily murdering people, taking drugs, attempting rape, selling under-age prostitutes... they're completely flat. We have no idea behind their motivation. Harry claims they have none, saying they're worse than the IRA but that doesn't ring true at all.
If it weren't for the fact Michael Caine is in it, nobody would have seen this film. It's clear he's only there for the paycheck, putting next to no effort into his part. Although, to be fair, there's nothing in there for him to work with.
It's only 90 minutes long, excluding 9 minutes of credits, but it feels like 4 hours. If you read the Daily Mail for a year, then condensed the more bile-filled stories down to a screen play, this is what you'd get. We are led to believe that you should trust no one under 70, the police are evil and don't care about old people because they're old and that every youth in Britain should be shot because that will fix the country. They even threw in a paedophile for 20 seconds just to make it feel "real and edgy".
It's poorly written shite, and it probably doesn't deserve being reviewed, but I suffered through it, I don't want anyone else to.
I disagree with you. Really disagree with you. I also think that you have no idea what the word "sadistic" means.
I think this actually delivers a high level of realism. If you knew anything about housing estates then you would know that this kind of crime and these kinds of acts are COMMON. Drug dealing, rape, under-age prostitution and people being beaten up happens all the time, and often the problem is that it happens behind closed doors. It is a massive problem spanning generations. The sex trade in under-age girls alone is monstrous in Europe. And this doesn't even take into account where children are actually SOLD. This. Is. What. Happens. I'm really quite surprised that you seem to think that gangs don't act like this, and that people don't act like this. And no, it is not all black and white at all. Reality is shades of grey.
A horrible, horrible amount of crime goes on in housing estates in both America and the UK and if you've ever seen this kind of gangs made up of kids you'd know this is how they act. There is very much motivation for how these kids act, and the movie shows that. They grow up in an area where crime is reinforced, where they are mostly on the poverty line and have no aspiration for jobs because the choices that are offered them are shit. A lot of these kids ARE abused. The gangs are a way for them to take back control and posture in front of other teenagers, feeling that they have power over their own lives. I thought the movie made it very clear that these kids are growing up in bad environments, and while their behaviour isn't excusable, it is explainable, and that just shoving them in jail to learn from other criminals ISN'T the option. I thought the movie explored this quite dynamically and subtly. For example, we see that the kid that Harry Brown tortures (or slaps twice with a piece of hose and threatens) is a victim of sexual abuse, and he grows up to commit criminal acts even though this kid is frightened and traumatized. I thought this movie showed quite excellently the vicious cycle of these situations, and how neither the police nor Harry Brown's methods were the solution, all it did was make the streets quieter for a while.
Also, I may have just interpreted things differently but I saw that the police were shown as just trying to deal with a hard situation. It's not that they don't care, it's just that the problems of a hotbed of gangs takes precedence. And it does, trust me. Considering my own experience with police, where I've just had a restraining order against my father overturned after twenty years of abuse, yeah, sometimes your case gets shafted for something more important. I thought this movie showed that quite well.
I thought all of it was very human, flawed and realistic, and I thought all the performances were very believable. Also, on the IRA... all they said was "they were fighting for something." Yes. They were. Also, the IRA didn't murder people and deal in drugs, so I'm not sure what you're trying to say there. Really, I think I'm baffled by a lot of what you say.
I think you're summary that " We are led to believe that you should trust no one under 70, the police are evil and don't care about old people because they're old and that every youth in Britain should be shot because that will fix the country" is...not very clever. Certainly over-simplified to an inaccurate amount. The point was that the system DOESN'T work. That the police solution doesn't work and yet it's better than nothing. The point isn't that the youths should be stopped, it's that they're in a vicious cycle of learning from their parents and relative who are criminals and are combating their own anger and fear by joining gangs that the police can't control. And guess what, issues of the old being brutalised DO tend to get put on the back-burner because no one with money and influence is pushing for them to be put to the forefront!
As a movie as a whole, I thought it was ok, but I'll probably write my own review explaining that.
And yes, this is ridiculous. I feel like I'm trying to explain real human behaviour to a sheltered 15 year-old who is used to the loud, obvious overtones of conventional movies. Please, please go and take a look at how things really stand before you go bashing a movie for being unrealistic and flat
I think that you honestly suffered through it and disliked this movie. I'm sorry you didn't like it. Personally I rather appreciated it rather than it being something I'd like to watch again. I think that you may want to check your worldview if you think that the sort of stuff shown in this movie is just an occasional occurrence that the writers ripped from the headlines.
17th Dec 12
Seriously, a guy writes a review talking about how a movie didn't resonate with him and how he didn't enjoy it, and you go into a huge, filibustering rant where you call the reviewer a sheltered kid who can't deal with the real world? Just... wow.
17th Dec 12
17th Dec 12
18th Dec 12
Argh! I meant I WILL try to remove the rant if I can! I have no idea how to delete comments but I'm working on it!
18th Dec 12
Comments are permanent, unfortunately
18th Dec 12
Ah, thankyou for that. Oh well. My apologies again and hopefully my idiocy won't cause anyone too many problems.
18th Dec 12
Laudanum is right though.
5th Jul 13
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