The Painter and the Thief
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Nineties martials arts from Jet Li at the peak of his ability, featuring some inventive fight scenes. Li is the son of the Emperor fighting to protect him and for the hand in marriage of a businessman's daughter. The action is impressive - although uses a lot of wire work - but the plot is rather run-of-the-mill and not a funny as it thinks it is.
Director Michael Winterbottom again shows his versatility, genre-hopping to this drama about a teacher (Colin Firth) who moves to Genova with his two daughters after his wife is killed in an accident. Whilst he tries to move on with his life the youngest daughter is still trying to cope with the loss of her mother, and the eldest wants to rebel and hang out with the local boys. It's a slight but enthralling drama with a tense undercurrent throughout. Simply shot, it also showcases the city to grand effect.
Disillusioned with the war in Afghanistan, soldier Miller returns home to broken Britain suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Heâ(TM)s soon recruited by a covert intelligence agency on the trail of suspected terrorists whilst, closer to home, has to protect his neighbourhood from a local gang. Matthew Hopeâ(TM)s second feature as director is far more assured and strong footed with a gripping storyline, although youâ(TM)ll have to excuse the excessively violent conclusion. Itâ(TM)s nice to see Toby Kebbell get a starring role his talent deserves, and the undersung Tony Curran offers great support as his intelligence contact.