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Directed by Thomas Napper

UK, 2017

HOME, 18 May 2017


It is a truth universally acknowledged that if Ray Winstone is in a film, it is well worth watching, ‘for the experience’.

This one, all about a boxer taking on one last desperate fight, is no exception. Jimmy (Johnny Harris) is a fighter who has fallen on hard times. He has got problems with the bottle. He has been thrown out onto the street. His life is a mess.

He turns to Bill (Ray Winstone) and to Joe (Ian McShane): a good dad and a bad dad. Joe is a mover and a shaker, someone who makes things happen. There is something especially sinister about the comfortably off, cash-rich Joe: how is he making his money? What he does here is tempt and seduce (though even this is putting it a bit too strongly) Jimmy into accepting an unlicensed fight; there is no coercion as such. If Jimmy doesn’t want it, he will find someone else, for sure.

Some years back John Huston made a great boxing film called Fat City – the novel (recently reissued by Pushkin) is pretty good as well. This is a British depiction of the same sort of world. It is a very decent film. Ray Winstone is, of course, brilliant and there is music by Paul Weller as well.