Writer: Louis Mellis, David Scinto (Screenplay)
Starring: Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, Ian McShane, Amanda Redman, James Fox, Cavan Kendall, Julianne White
Plot: Brutal gangster Don Logan recruits “retired” safecracker Gal for one last job, but it goes badly for both of them.
Tagline – Sometimes It’s Hard To Say No
Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Insult Heavy Crime Thriller
Story: Sexy Beast starts as we meet retired safecracker Gal (Winstone) living the life of luxury in a Spanish villa which he enjoys relaxing by the pool enjoying his retirement. His retirement is put to the test when brutal gangster Don Logan (Kingsley) arrives in Spain to try and force him into doing one more job for him, he won’t take no for an answer.
Reluctantly taking the job, Gal returns to London and as most heist style movies, things don’t go to plan.
Thoughts on Sexy Beast
Characters – Gal was once the go to safecracker, now he is in retirement in Spain loving his life in the sun with his pool and friends, he has zero interest in returning to the game even after Don Logan pushes him. He stays relaxed through each scene because he knows his answer will always be no. he does reluctantly return for this last job mostly to get rid of Don. Don Logan is the brutal gangster, he knows who he wants for the jobs and this time it is Gal, he will not take ‘No’ as an answer, he will get violent and his outbursts will be the things you remember the most. Teddy is the man that the job is for, a fellow gangster that wants the best men for the job. DeeDee is the wife of Gal, she will stand by Gal in every decision even after the endless insults thrown their way.
Performances – Ray Winstone is great in this leading role, he is the perfect choice for a cockney criminal who knows there is a better life out there away from London. Ben Kingsley clearly steals every single scene in this movie with his performance that is filed with so much anger and aggression, you won’t be able to take your eyes off him. Ian McShane is great too where he brings us a calmer gangster who is also filled with anger. These three take most of the spotlight away from any other performers in the film.
Story – The story follows a retired criminal that gets forced to return to the game for one final job by an aggressive gangster, where this film does stand out from the other films in this genre, is that our hero Gal is 100% not interested in returning as most film give us the idea of ‘ok, I will do it’ on an easier formula. The story does have a nice twist on how things go and gives us the characters we could believe are from this world. if you are looking for a heist storyline, you will be disappointed though as this film focuses on the idea of getting the man to do the job.
Crime/Thriller – The crime world we enter giving us gangsters which will not take no for an answer, we don’t learn enough of their previous lives in the world though, only going on reputations.
Settings – The film uses Spain for the setting which gives us the retirement feel for a Brit to take, the sun increases the idea of the heat in the scenes.
Final Thoughts – This is a true British crime film, it has great characters and a stunning performance from Ben Kingsley.
Overall: British Crime 101