The ‘hyena’ in this slick and brutal crime thriller is a burly bent copper called Michael Logan who plays so closely with fire, he is definitely going to get more than his fingers burned if things turn out as badly as they probably will. ★★
The film opens with Logan taking a call and then driving off into the night to meet up with three equally brutish looking types who we assume are thuggish crooks. Putting on police vests and caps they burst into the back door of a nightclub and immediately set about beating up the guys running the place. Initially we assume they are fake cops, but after handcuffing the men and then helping themselves to all the cash and drugs in the place it is clear they are cops of the corrupt variety.
Next day a brutal pair of Albanian brothers suddenly interrupt a meeting with a Turkish drug dealer that Logan is planning on going into business with. Whilst Logan is quick enough to hide, the poor Turk is bloodily killed in what is the start of an incessant slew of seemingly endless violence that fills the next 112 minutes. The Albanians are switching from prostitution and human trafficking into the drugs trade and are intent on taking over as the new crime lords in this very seedy part of Notting Hill, which looks nothing like the pretty gentrified area where Hugh Grant swept Julia Roberts off her feet.
Logan is convinced that he can deal with the ruthless brothers, but as their reign of mindless bloody terror gets completely out of hand, it eventually becomes apparent that he too may also end up as one of their victims too.
The movie’s multi-layered story line gets extremely complicated and has more than its fair share of clichés. What is particularly depressing in this overtly masculine film for ‘big boys’ is like so many others in the genre, the only females portrayed are just sad hopeless victims. This is writer/director Gerard Johnson’s sophomore feature and once again he at least had the good sense to cast his cousin the actor Peter Ferdinando in the lead. His performance as Logan was one of the best things in what is otherwise an rather annoying exercise of gratuitous violence that makes a Jason Statham flicks seem positively tame.
P.S. The one other good element is the soundtrack by Matt Johnson aka THE THE.