Like my book reviews site, these are movie reviews I write for entertainment purposes only. These are just my reviews and my opinions. They are not endorsed by Blogger or any movie studios or anyone else. So there. I borrowed my scoring system from the Metacritic site, which does not imply an endorsement from them, although I think they do have a very nice website. I convert the 1-100 scores into 1-4 stars, essentially it works like this:

1 star = 25 points
2 stars = 50 points
3 stars = 75 points
4 stars = 100 points

And then if something falls about halfway between, then I'll give it an added half-star.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Harry Brown

If you've watched movies like "Death Wish" or "Gran Torino" then you pretty much already know how "Harry Brown" is going to play out.  The only difference is that this vigilante movie is set in London instead of a US city like New York or Detroit or Chicago.  But crime, gangs, and drugs are pretty much universal in any big city.

Harry Brown (Michael Caine) was a decorated Marine during fighting with Northern Ireland years ago.  That was until he married his wife Cath, when he swore never to fight again.  He settled down and they had a daughter who died at age 13--a fact you don't know unless you watch the deleted scenes.

In present day Harry is old and his wife is dying from cancer--another fact you don't really know unless you watch the deleted scenes; all you know in the regular movie is that she's dying.  At the same time, his only friend Leonard is being harrassed by street punks led by the sadistic Noel.

Not long after Harry's wife dies, Leonard gets fed up and decides to confront Noel and the other punks.  As you'd expect, this doesn't go well.  Leonard is killed and Harry decides that he's going to take revenge on those responsible.

The rest of it pretty much goes according to formula.  At least the film stays somewhat grounded in the real world in that Harry never becomes Jason Bourne, performing any gravity-defying stunts.  At the same time, it never really strays too far from the safe and predictable.  As I sort of indicated, some of the deeper stuff about the characters got cut from the theatrical version.

The actors probably deserved a script that took a few more chances, but it's not a terrible film either.  If you liked "Gran Torino" then it's much the same, except no message about tolerance or anything.

That is all.

My score:  62/100 (2.5 stars)

Metacritic score:  55/100 (2 stars)

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