Sexy Beast (2000)

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Jonathan Glazer directs Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley and Ian McShane in this retired safe cracker is persuaded to do one last job after the most terrifyingly pschopathic persuader turns up at his Costa Del Crime villa. 

Cor! This is a scorcher. You can feel the sweat, heat and wrinkly old erections. Beautifully shot and soundtracked by Glazer embracing and amping up the Cockney gangster movie cliche so it becomes deafening background noise for a farce of frustration and threat. The sexuality of all the characters have a treacly liquid quality, our hero Gal wants to reject his old lawless life to embrace a heavenly and monogamous relationship with his ex porn star wife. Yet all these forceful old men keep grabbing at him to pull him away from that and into their orgy of threat, destruction and risk. None more so than Kingsley’s horrifyingly belligerent Don Logan, a man who not doesn’t take “No” for answer but kicks “No” to floor, stomps it to death, spits in its face and calls “No” a cunt. The interplay between him and Winstone’s ostensible hero is captivating, like watching a hostage negotiater trapped in a cage with a tiger. The movie loses something when Don gets his way and Gal performs the heist (still thrilling). Glazer marked himself out here as a future Kubrick or Roeg with his control of genre, jarring rhythm and stark imagery. His later works Birth and Under the Skin are equally artful and impressive, but this is the only one you can watch with your Dad and both walk away both satisfied and entertained.

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