Sexy Beast
*** GM
Starring: Ben Kingsley, Ray Winstone, Amanda Redman, Julianne White, Cavan Kendall


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This movie is all about Ben Kingsley, and if it wasn't, it probably would've sucked.

The story is Gal Dove (Winstone), a retired heister, is living happily with his wife and friends in Spain until Don Logan (Kingsley), an oddball obsessive fruitcake, finds him and wants him to come back and do another big-time job, conveniently ignoring the whole 'retired' thing. Gal doesn't want to do it, his wife doesn't want him to do it, his friends don't want him to do it, but they're all scared of Don, because he's fucked up. Don shows up and just needles, needles, needles until Gal can't take it anymore.

Kingsley's performance is funny, scary and surprisingly bad-assed, although it's helped by the hushed, nervous reactions of everyone else after hearing his name. Winstone is also effective as Don's foil, but it's all Kingsley here carrying the film.

Part of the problem is that it doesn't seem entirely positive about what it's trying to do - it's part 'stylish crime story,' part 'introspective moral dilemma,' part 'heist flick,' part 'suspense' and part 'monster' movie, but it doesn't mesh them together as smoothly as it should, as evidenced by Kingsley's "death" leaving the last twenty or so minutes of the film significantly less interesting. It feels a bit awkward in pacing and unfocused in what it was actually about.

The last shot, however, is probably one of the best final scenes I've seen in a film in a long time, and certainly one of the funniest.

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