Trespass Against Us: LFF Film Review 

I’ve got quite used to seeing Michael Fassbender in big blockbusters like Prometheus and X-Men or even period pieces like Macbeth but we haven’t seen him play a common British criminal in ages (if ever) so I mainly wanted to see Trespass Against Us for that reason.

He plays Chad, a traveller who is currently living with his wife Kelly (Lyndsey Marshal) and their two kids somewhere in the West Country. His dad Colby (Brendan Gleeson) also lives in the community and manipulates him into doing criminal acts, which Chad no longer wants to do. He hopes to one day escape the clutches of his dad and live an easy, quiet life but there’s not many job prospects for someone who can’t read or write and he is easily pressured by his father into doing ‘one more job’.

Fassbender adopts a thick West Country accent and sometimes says words wrong because Chad’s not educated and this makes him quite hard to understand. Same goes for Gleeson, who could have been talking in riddles for all I could make out of his dialogue.

Chad knows how to drive a car extremely well, making him the perfect man for a getaway driver and his car chase scenes are a lot of fun to watch because he always seems to give the police the slip. It’s just a shame that the other scenes aren’t so entertaining because they’re quite messy and all over the place tonally. One minute it was gritty and the next, a bit comedic.

It’s hard to get behind Chad even though you sympathise with his struggle for a better life because he’s an infuriating character. You want him to just stop and break free but he doesn’t help himself. He also smokes non-stop, swears like a sailor (in front of his kids) and wears interesting tracksuit and hunting shirt combos. Gleeson was pretty menacing with some sort of hold over his son. They both give awesome performances though.

This is very hit and miss. I liked it in places and was ambivalent or confused in others. It took me ages to get involved in the film and I left feeling unsatisfied. I can’t exactly pinpoint what my main issue was, but it wasn’t the crime caper I expected nor the gritty gangster film its also been pitched as.

Seen as part of the 60th BFI London Film Festival. Set for cinema release in the U.K. on March 2017. 

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