This is the first review that I have written for a movie. Consequently, the style may be a little bit wrong; however, I think that I get my point across. Anyway, since this is a first, any comments you have are appreciated.
Review of Harry Brown:
The movie Harry Brown, (Rated R for strong language, bloody violence, drug use, and sexual content) is a good example of a movie that is too much like real life to be good. It stars Michael Cain as Harry Brown, an older man living in a neighborhood where the senseless violence of the younger generation has created a living nightmare. A few scenes of kids smashing up and burning cars, beating each other up for no reason, and even killing each other drives this point home very well. Early on in the film, a gang kills Harry’s lifelong friend, setting the scene for the rest of the story.
The death of his friend, and the inability of the police to find and punish the killers was the last straw for Harry, and he decides to take matters into his own hands. The remainder of the movie tells the story of how Harry decides to confront the violence.
The biggest fault that this movie has is that it has no moral to it. It’s almost as if the writers started telling the story with no specific end in mind, and consequently the movie simply ends. There are no stunning revelations, no look into the morality of right and wrong, no point that can be taken from it; In fact, where other movies have made a strong case for vigilantes fighting crime when the police can’t or won’t, Harry Brown fails because of the character’s motives. Rather than confronting evil for the common good, Harry’s motives were purely those of revenge. Because of this, he is removed from the position of a hero and seen only as a regular person seeking revenge, something that God tells us we should not do. Consequently, it is hard to cheer for Harry and feel good about what he does.
The one thing that the makers of this movie did well was their choice of actors. Michael Cain did a remarkable job acting as the main character. His portrayal of an elderly man who still has the ability and mettle to look violence in the face was excellent and something that few others could do. The supporting actors and actresses also performed believably in their roles. The result was a movie that felt very real, almost more like a documentary than a movie.
But not even the acting of Michael Cain and the others could save this movie. With nowhere to go and nothing to build up to, all of their efforts only made very realistic a movie about a world of depraved humans with no source of hope for them. And this is how it ends, with the viewer wondering whether Harry Brown was really better than the people that he was fighting.