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Beyond a few bursts of kinetic violence and some crank-filled torture sequences, Evans plays this story relatively down-the-middle, allowing the performances, the lofty themes, and the windswept vistas to do the talking.
It's a cult movie that earns your devotion slowly, then all at once.
But the film about a boy (Jamie Bell) from a prideful, low-income family who skips his boxing lessons for ballet class in attempt to turn his natural gift into a serious ambition has its own breed of uplifting energy.
The drama tessellates between fantasy and reality, set during the UK's coal miner strike in the '80s, which only makes the scenes of Elliot practicing in the studio or choreographing his navigation of daily life in the County Durham streets that much more special. : they're all dressed in military fatigues, often with helmets and goggles that obscure their faces; there's dust everywhere; and yelling is the preferred method of communication. It's experiential, the type of movie that's tough to shake -- even on a puny computer screen.
, director Gareth Evans dials back the hand-to-hand combat but still keeps a few buckets of blood handy in this grisly supernatural horror tale.It's one of the most harrowing on-screen depictions of how mental illness can wrench a life apart, and one of Leo's unobjectable triumphs. Featuring star turns from Liam Neeson, Tom Waits, Zoe Kazan, and more, the film takes advantage of Netflix's willingness to experiment by composing a sort of death fugue that unfolds across the harsh realities of life in Manifest Destiny America.