(Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, David Bradley, Charlie Creed-Miles, Iain Glen, et al / DVD / R / 2010 / Sony Pictures)
Overview: A modest law-abiding citizen, Harry Brown is a retired Marine and a widower who lives alone on a depressed housing estate. His only company is his best friend Leonard (David Bradley). When Leonard is murdered by a gang of thugs, Harry feels compelled to act and is forced to dispense his own brand of justice.
DVD Verdict: The title character is played by the always great (in whatever he does, but here seems a little too ruggedly old for his own good in such a role) Michael Caine. That said, the great British actor has appeared in over one hundred films thus far in his career, and this year hit the seventy-seven years old mark!
Harry lives alone. He only has one close friend and when said friend is killed by thugs; thugs that haunt his horrible, low rent council estate flats, Harry soon takes it upon himself to become the Charles Bronson figure of the film!
And so, the aging Harry, burdened with a severe case of emphysema (the scene where he gives chase to a thug, only to collapse for lack of oxygen by the canal is harrowing), decides to act himself when the police cannot build a case against his old friend's killers. In fact, the police seem unable to control the thugs who spread mayhem which includes dealing drugs, stealing cars, and assaulting people throughout the estates. Endless scenes of what these thugs get way with whilst the police seemingly sit back and state there is nothing they can do are just hard to swallow, sorry.
But, as pointed out, Harry becomes a vigilante, using the fighting skills he acquired as a Royal Marine. And one by one, he tackles the thugs responsbile for the horrible death of his friend.
And, aside from some very well-portrayed, and totally OTT bad boys, there's also a magical scene within the confines of a den of iniquity - stacked to the rafters with scores of marijuana plants!
Caine here is slower than his usual self, not as quip-happy as most all of his films, but still puts in one (for the most part) believeable performance as the good samaritan on a mission of destruction. It also includes a VERY nicely handled, and dare I use the word exciting conclusion. [EL] This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Filmmaker and Cast Commentary