Son of a Gun: Film Review

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From the trailer, Son of a Gun looks just like your average gangster fare and while this isn’t going to break any boundaries and it doesn’t explore new territory, it is elevated from average to great simply from the performance by Ewan McGregor, who rarely gets the opportunity to play a baddie.

JR (Brenton Thwaites) is sent to prison and is at risk of becoming a gang’s latest sex monkey when Brendan (Ewan McGregor), the big-time thief, saves his ass (literally). In return, JR must help Brendan escape from the prison once he gets released. JR holds up his end of the bargain but then Brendan ropes him into his next operation – stealing bars of gold – and JR soon wishes he never got involved in such a world.

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Casting McGregor as an evil gangster-type robber is interesting because he isn’t known for that and in recent years he has just being doing nice little films. While this isn’t a big budget fare, it is certainly an interesting role he can sink his teeth into. What I liked about Brendan was that he wasn’t obviously evil. Most of the time he was nice, calm and collected but will completely flip when disobeyed or if something doesn’t go his way. You don’t want to cross him. McGregor conveys that with ease and relish.

Relative newcomer Thwaites is good enough as JR but he could have done more. He is the audience’s view point. You want him to get out of the operation and out of Brendan’s clutches. But at the same time, he is super annoying and does things which ruin his chances of escape. Vikander was an interesting cast as the girlfriend/property of the head honcho. I always imagine her as restrained, repressed and regal due to her previous period pieces so it was fascinating seeing her as someone letting loose and charming the pants of JR.

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Besides the great casting, the story twists and turns enough to keep interest. It isn’t an original plot in the slightest but there is still plenty of tension and excitement until the very end thanks to the power play that builds between Brendan and JR which comes to a great conclusion. So no, this film does not break the crime mould but it is far better than it appears to be. I will guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Released Friday 

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