Go to Castlebar
    review by Luca Brasi                   Full Review List

Lucky Break

Ah, I feel brilliant. Why? Because this film, when I watched it, wasn't even out. I saw a special screening! YES! I AM FINALLY A MAJOR FILM CRITIC!

... oh, and there were about a hundred other people in the cinema as well but let's not ruin my moment.

Lucky Break is the new film from Peter Cattaneo (Yes! THE Peter Cattaneo!), about a cocky Irishman who devises a sneaky plan to get out of prison. Cocky Irishman in question is James Nesbitt, he of Cold Feet, Touching Evil and lots of other things I haven't seen since I'm on the wrong side of the Atlantic. James and Lennie James (from Snatch) are bank robbers caught red-handed and sent to one of the harder prisons in England, and no sooner does Nesbitt get there than he starts causing trouble. While not stuck in solitary, the two of them scheme to find the prison's weak spot, and indeed they find it; the old prison chapel, still attached to the main building, provides the least challenges. Naturally they have no way of getting in anyway, until the kindly prison governor (Christopher Plummer) decides he wants to put on his own original musical as a morale booster. The old chapel would make a perfect venue, if he can only get a cast together...

It's pretty easy to guess what happens once that ball gets rolling, but what surprised me is that this film branched out from the main plot quite a lot instead of keeping the prison break the story of the film. As the film goes on the two jailbirds start to know and understand the other poor men cooped up with them and what their stories are, and as the film presses on the plot is constantly thickened with the addition of characters and sudden revelations. Nesbitt is brilliant, and considering this is the first thing I've ever seen him in, this film gives me great cause to look up his old stuff. The script, however is the best thing about it; funny lines are thrown between the prisoners to punctuate the heartfelt story, and the governor's musical is so ludicrous it's hilarious. Olivia Williams is also great as the film's obligatory love interest, complicating Nesbitt's best laid plans. The love story is also handled very well, and never seems tacked-on.

Oh, yeah, and Peter Cattaneo pulls it all off very well. He did The Full Monty, by the way.

All in all a good film, and make sure you wait until the very end.

Castlebar     -     Latest Review     -     Full Review List     -     Cinema Listings