Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (28)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (27)
| Rotten (1)
| DVD (10)
Has a shaky, peculiarly British charm that still makes it irresistible.
In many respects a conventional thriller set in London's underworld, The Long Good Friday is much more densely plotted and intelligently scripted than most such yarns.
The admittedly well-constructed set pieces are all too often diminished in effect by the uninspired camera-work.
I have rarely seen a movie character so completely alive. Shand is an evil, cruel, sadistic man. But he's a mass of contradictions, and there are times when we understand him so completely we almost feel affectionate.
Though its plot contains much that's new, The Long Good Friday is a swift, sharp-edged gangster story in a classic mold.
The film lingers in the mind as an exposure of one man's illusions about himself and his world. Reality intrudes upon him like the hands around someone's neck.
The simple, almost Shakespearean moral is that nefarious deeds breed a climate of contempt, and that any success will always be tainted.
Both an explosively violent thriller and a sharp evocation of the enterprise culture of the time.
Hoskins' bullish, black-comic Napoleonism makes this movie: pugnacious, sentimental, a cockney Cagney.
Although The Long Good Friday is firmly rooted in a very different era -- early 1980s Britain is another country entirely -- the film still feels fresh and uncompromisingly tough.
A conventional Brit thriller that's moderately entertaining.
The Long Good Friday is Hoskins' break out performance and it's no surprise as to why. He inhabits the role of Harold Shand with such passion that we are completely swept along with him. Harold Shand is a gangster and businessman. As he approaches making a lucrative deal with some Americans, a number of his crew are taken out via stabbings and bombs. He and his gang must find the culprits before the Americans are scared off. It's a race against time but with no real heroes. We feel for the character of Shand but at no point are asked to excuse or support him. The score is beautiful, in an old electronic kind of way, it does set the scene and builds up exciting moments. The sound design is also often exaggerated but in a way that it brings added and important emphasis to certain scenes. Director Mackenzie also likes to get experimental at times, but only when it really serves the plot, such as the upside down meat truck scene. It's a great film that warns against greed and corruption, but is also littered with memorable dialogue.
Well deserving of its many accolades, Friday is one cheery holiday weekend with Brit crimelord Bob Hoskins (in a juggernaut performance worthy of all the gangster greats) as his world crumbles all around him. Helen Mirren lends able support (one of the best I've seen her in) and Pierce Brosnan also makes a brief appearance. Great writing showcases this 1981 thrill ride.
Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren and a kick-ass ending.
At the time of writing this, I've just been thoroughly impressed by a rare British TV screening of 'The Long Good Friday', a gripping, bleak and uncompromising study of a supposedly untouchable underworld kingpin whose organization collapses around his ears when a mystery adversary begins murdering his colleagues and blowing up his favourite haunts. Bob Hoskins is just incredible in this film. His performance sears the screen with its burning intensity. His character is undoubtedly a vile individual, but Hoskins employs so much depth and subtlety in his portrayal we actually find ourselves caring for him. The much-remarked-on final sequence is an absolute tour-de-force that takes your breath away. Doubtful whether any current director (let alone any current actor) would have the guts to even attempt something like that. Hoskins makes it all look so easy, the mark of a true professional. Be warned, however, that this is not a film for the faint-hearted, and the squeamish will most certainly wince more than once. The direction, editing, photography, soundtrack and acting are all top-notch, displaying a rare degree of outright quality that the British film industry rarely seems able to muster, for one reason or another. There's also some degree of fun to be had from spotting the familiar faces in the supporting cast - 'Charlie Fairhead' from Casualty, 'Denzil' from Only Fools and Horses, 'Terry' from Fawlty Towers, a couple of the sadistic warders from Alan Clarke's brutal borstal flick 'Scum' and a young Gillian Taylforth of Eastenders fame. I have one final comment to make regarding this movie. Guy Ritchie should be forced to watch this at least fifteen times in a row, in the vain hope that it teaches him something about the genre he idolizes but seems unable to make a decent job of depicting. Watch and learn, all you young 'mockney' pretenders, this film is the work of the masters.
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