Welcome to the Punch

Certificate 15, 100 minutes, ★★★★★★★☆☆☆


James McAvoy and Mark Strong star in this indie British cop/crime thriller set among the glass and steel skyscrapers of London’s Canary Wharf.

Three years ago, tough cop Max Lewinsky (McAvoy) was wounded while chasing big-time crook Jacob Sternwood (Strong) after a heist. Now, Sternwood’s son has been found shot on the apron at London’s City airport. When Sternwood returns for his boy, Max sees his chance finally to bring the crook to justice, but finds himself in the middle of a conspiracy that goes right to the top.

Fast paced and shot mainly at night (it’s rare that we see London in a movie looking so gorgeously glittery), this is a glossy thriller that, if I’m honest, doesn’t go anywhere new. But it retreads old ground with a degree of style that, for example, last year’s The Sweeney lacked. Yes, the twists are visible a mile off, but the set pieces are confident and well executed, the cast is like a roll call of British talent and there are some real stand out moments.

What the Sweeney should have been Guv. 7/10