Mixing art house dazzle with thumping heist thriller and racial politics, Steve McQueen’s update on the 80s British TV series is a cracker.
Viola Davis compels as the woman left to carry out her dead husband’s (Liam Neeson) last job, rounding up the other girls of his former gang to help carry it off, while the cops and the sharks from the gangster underworld circle.
I loved the look of it – reminded me of the great Sidney Lumet’s later movies, like Q & A and The Verdict – and some of the sequences leave you panting for breath. It’s supremely stylish but glints with wit that flashes off the surfaces in Gillian Flynn’s script.
Indeed, although all the performances in a starry ensemble (Daniel Kaluuya, nasty) have a sneaky individuality about them, the whole comes together beautifully to talk about sexism, racism, political corruption and duty – all while keeping you stiff with clammy tension and the looming rumble of violence.