Eye For Film >> Movies >> Sexy Beast (2000) Film Review
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
As a gangster movie, Sexy Beast is quirky. As a love story, it is surprising. As a British take on Quentin Tarantino, it has its moments.
Gal (Ray Winstone) is retired from villainy, living the lazy life in a villa in Spain with his ex-porn star wife, Deedee (Amanda Redman), when Logan (Ben Kingsley) turns up to recruit him for a bank job in London. He has every intention of refusing, except that Logan is not a man to cross, being pathologically unhinged.
The title suggests a laddish romp in sunny climes. Nothing could be further from the truth. These East End crooks are either pussy cats or beyond the Krays. Logan's a nutter, Gal is buttery and Teddy Bass (Ian McShane), the boss of bosses, has a vicious edge to his paranoia.
The director, Jonathan Glazer, in his debut feature film, indulges tricksy flashbacks and a dream sequence too far. His background in commercials and pop videos begins to show after a while. The opening section at the villa is beautifully handled. The later sequences in London are less convincing.
Kingsley gives a chilling performance. If Logan existed in life, no one would work for him. Such humourless rage is the stuff of dictators, not B-list hoodlums.
Redman has warmth and sexuality to burn. Deedee and Gal's marriage is unfashionably strong, made real by fine naturalistic acting. Winstone plays soft, for a change, not that Gal is a push over. He just knows the difference between love and a good time. And Winstone portrays him with a surfeit of sensitivity, a long way from the wife-beater in Nil By Mouth.Reviewed on: 24 Jan 2001