Hoping to kickstart a new breed of stylish action thrillers bringing out the beauty and sophistication of a city so often shot for its grimy and gritty side, London thriller Welcome To The Punch is a heartfelt ode to the work of legend Tony Scott, even if it falls someway short in terms of quality.
Coming out of hiding to return to London after his son is involved in a heist gone wrong, master criminal Jacob Sternwood (Strong) crosses paths again with detective Max Lewinsky (McAvoy). Years after their last encounter left the policeman with a chronic injury to his knee, Lewinsky is ready to do whatever it takes to catch the man who’s made his life a misery, but as a conspiracy is soon exposed, it’s not long before the lines of battle start to blur.
Slick from the first minute to the last, director Eran Creevy alongside cinematographer Ed Wild can be really proud of how good Welcome To The Punch looks on screen. Lighting London like it has always deserved to be shot, the shimmering glass facades of the City have never looked this good, but that’s unfortunately most of what Creevy’s movie has going for it.
While the cast all put in captivating performances, Welcome To The Punch is all style, too much plot and no substance. A lot happens in the film, and yet it never really feels like its going anywhere or has any weight, with much of the plot feeling a little hollow. There’s no real depth to the characters and no emotional involvement to hook you in.
Welcome To The Punch should feel a little grander, to match its visuals, like its on a bigger scale to match its wide-ranging plot. While he’s far from the finished article just yet, it is though another step in the right direction for director Eran Creevy, and he’s still done the memories of his idol Tony Scott proud.