Looking for the next candidate to fit into that British-indie-director-who-goes-A-list-Hollywood category? Someone to follow in the footsteps of Christopher Nolan, Rupert Wyatt, and “The Disappearance Of Alice Creed” director J. Blakeson? A strong contender is emerging in the shape of Eran Creevy, who made a storming debut with the microbudget “Shifty” a few years ago, a low-key drama that featured top-notch performances from Daniel Mays and Riz Ahmed, and oodles of filmmaking talent behind the camera.
The film never quite made an impact in the U.S, but was critically adored in the U.K., and clearly opened the right doors for Creevy, as Ridley and Tony Scott took him under their wing for “Welcome To The Punch,” a London-set action thriller with a killer cast led by A-lister James McAvoy. And at long last, a trailer for the film has arrived, providing the first real look at the movie.
McAvoy plays Max, a driven cop whose nemesis Jacob (Mark Strong) escaped justice, and the country, a few years ago. But when Jacob’s son (“Game Of Thrones” and “World War Z” actor Elyes Gabel) is shot, he returns to the country despite the risks. Max sets out to take him down again, but is there more happening than meets the eye? Judging by the slightly spoiler-y trailer, almost certainly. Creevy has used films like “Heat” and “The Last Boy Scout” as reference points, and ‘Punch’ certainly looks far glossier and more action-packed than we’re used to in UK fare.
But we hope it’s more than just an audition for tentpole blockbusters too — we enjoyed the script, which is twistier and less generic than the trailer lets on, and the cast assembled, which also includes Andrea Riseborough, David Morrissey, Peter Mullan, Jason Flemyng, Daniel Kaluuya, Daniel Mays and Johnny Harris, is a who’s who of British character actor greats. So fingers crossed “Welcome To The Punch” turns out to be something special, rather than the next “Blitz.” We’ll find out when it hits UK cinemas on March 15th. IFC Films will release it later in 2013. [The Sun/The Film Stage]