All Things To All Men

All Things To All Men


Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson

Watching producer-turned-director George Isaac's debut you can't help feeling that somewhere, lying lost on a cutting room floor, there might be a better movie. The narrative of his bent copper/heist story is presented in stacatto, leaping from twist to twist with no sense of proper narrative or character development, as though the Isaac and his editor - the experienced Eddie Hamilton (Kick Ass, X-Men: First Class) - think if they rush us through the action we won't notice the lack of substance. The end result is more out to lunch than Welcome To The Punch.

It's a shame, because the stripped-down silent and visual storytelling of the opening scenes that plunge us into a jewel heist, with Toby Stephen's nimble thief Reilly doing the necessary, are stylish and intriguing. What follows, however, is confused and messy. It boils down to crooked cop Parker (Rufus Sewell) - accompanied by his long-time sidekick Sands (Terence Maynard) and wet-behind-the-ears Dixon (Leo Gregory, who though a good actor seems too old for the role) - being involved in an attempt to dig himself out of trouble by double-crossing kingpin Joseph Corso (Gabriel Byrne), while dragging Reilly into the mix.

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Confused? You certainly will be once you've tried to wrap your head round all of the above plus an overblown subplot involving Corso's son Mark (Pierre Mascolo, who has apparently been cast for his ability to look like a wounded puppy and little else), and tried to work out where Elsa Pataky's woefully underwritten Sophia fits into the picture.

The weighting of the film is all wrong, with barely a moment's screentime given to a relationship that will turn out to be key to the plot machinations, while what feels like 20 minutes is spent tracking a drug deal that ends up being little more than incidental. The use of London landmarks for no reason except that they look quite nice is also gratuitous, particularly climactic scenes that take place in Battersea Power Station, the phone call set-up for which is laughable.

There's no shortage of acting talent here, with Byrne and Maynard, in particular, making the best of a bad job, although poor old Julian Sands - as Byrne's enforcer - is plonked into scenes in the manner of an elegant but pointless prop. Ultimately, like last year's The Sweeney, this is all fur coat and no knickers.

Reviewed on: 05 Apr 2013
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All Things To All Men packshot
A bent copper tries to rip off a kingpin.
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Director: George Isaac

Writer: George Isaac

Starring: Toby Stephens, Rufus Sewell, Mark Badham, Gabriel Byrne, Gil Darnell, James Frain, Leo Gregory, MC Harvey, Pierre Mascolo, Terence Maynard, Elsa Pataky, Ray Polhill, Junior Quartey, Julian Sands, David Schofield

Year: 2013

Runtime: 84 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


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If you like this, try:

The Sweeney
Welcome To The Punch