After being released from prison, Mitchell (Colin Farrell) is immediately picked up and reintroduced to the shady criminals that got him in trouble in the first place. Mitchell didn't rat anybody out --- in fact, he's a bit of a legend for being a bad-ass --- so he's not going to get snuffed, but he's tired of that life and wants to move on. Somehow, Mitchell manages to get a job as a bodyguard for reclusive actress/British tabloid fodder, Charlotte (Keira Knightley). Charlotte has developed a bit of an anxiety disorder thanks to the constant badgering she has received from the paparazzi; I would say she is paranoid, but they really are out to get her, since the worse she gets, the better their headlines.
|She doesn't seem overexposed at all|
None of the acting in London Boulevard was too bad, but the leads weren't especially impressive. Colin Farrell did about as much with the role as the script would allow, but the story relies heavily on him being totally bad-ass, and we don't see a whole lot of that. Keira Knightley was fine as the strung-out celebrity, but her role was surprisingly small, given the initial movie trailer.
|Rumor is Keira gained 1.5 lbs to play this role; that rumor may be exaggerated|
Ben Chaplin as a sniveling and stupid crook; it wasn't a great part, but Chaplin was suitably unsympathetic. Stephen Graham and Eddie Marsan were both underutilized in small parts. Anna Friel was almost completely unnecessary in what could have been a fun bit part, but just felt out of place in London Boulevard.
As William Monahan's first directorial feature, London Boulevard does a decent amount of things right. The best scenes in the movie --- basically any time Farrell shares the screen with Thewlis or Winstone --- are snappy, well-edited and pretty awesome. The violence is also fairly raw and abrasive (in a good way).
|"I'm an artist at my chosen craft"|
That disconnect is really at the core of what keeps London Boulevard from working. There are some good bits (the familiar overarching plot, the snappy banter in key scenes), but the pacing of the film as a whole is awful. The story gets sidetracked by subplots with little to no payoff, Mitchell is attached to certain characters for reasons the viewer never really understands, and the core of the story --- Mitchell and Charlotte falling in love --- is rushed and left mostly unexplored and unexplained.
|That's enough of that!|
|I'd be pissed, too, if I starred in this|