Director Bryan Singer helms a sprawling epic that’s merely cobbled together from familiar plot points and franchise curtain calls.
Though infused with an infectious anarchic energy, Filth confuses rudeness with rebellion. Even the gleeful excesses can’t save the film’s muddled script as it loses its narrative steam and plummets into melodrama. The wickedness feels less like provocation and more like a diversion to hide the wafer-thin story. In other words, Filth is all talk and no shock.
Anyone who watches Welcome to the Punch will, at some point, feel the unerring prick of realization running up their spine. In full, the film is technically original, but in its parts, the seasoned moviegoer will recognize a number of elements from pretty much every crime drama released in the last 30 years. We have a dogged, Javert-like cop looking for revenge for a past slight, a conspiracy that reaches far and wide both within the force and within the world of big-city politics, and the sleek silvers and blues meant to point out the inherent, Michael Mann-esque moodiness on screen.
Danny Boyle has yet to make a dull movie, but that appears to be the only consistency he’s concerned with. His new film Trance is as amped up, jittery, and stylistically charged as Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, and the rest of his filmography, but the story holds up to barely the most minor scrutiny. Trance’s inconsistencies go well beyond its script, all the way down to the various flourishes Boyle employs throughout the film, tossing them out as he deems them useless.