When retired East End villain Charlie Archer is murdered by a feral street gang, his brother Ritchie returns to London from Spain to investigate.
Genre : Action/Crime
Country : UK
Ian Ogilvy : Richie
Danny-Boy Hatchard : Aaron
Alison Doody : Susan Taylor
Director : Sacha Bennett
“They are nasty little piglets. And I really like to hear them squealing before the end.”
When I looked at the cover of this film for the first time, an old-fashioned-looking layout with two evenly sized areas where some veterans are shown above a group of fearless teenagers, I was expecting some kind of third-rate B-movie that you can buy after a while for a bargain price in your local supermarket or which you can get with two big packs of paprika chips in a promotional package with the slogan “eat-some-crispy-chips-with-this-bite-sized-movie”. In hindsight, I thought this movie didn’t deserve that cheap status. It’s a reasonably entertaining movie about contemporary youth who have more respect for their iPhone than for a war veteran’s hard-earned medals, who are harshly dealt with by some old gangster veterans. The sometimes rather brutal scenes go hand in hand with subtle humor, which I found a wonderful cocktail.
Don’t expect an intricate storyline with thoughtful subplots, but a straightforward crime story with respect, loyalty and correctness (if you can call it that way) diametrically opposed to debauchery and vandalism. A kind of “Expendables” which are spring cleaning a suburb in London (East End) because the brother of Richie Archer (Ian Ogilvy) terminates a gang rape in some alley and is being killed by Aaron (Danny-Boy Hatchard), the leader of the gang of those young punks. After the news is being told by an old friend from the neighborhood, he flies over from Spain to take revenge, with the help of some companions from the past.
It’s again a crime movie in which the familiar clichés aren’t shunned. The youngsters are depicted as stupid nobodies who can’t say two sentences without overloading them with swear words and whose situation obviously is the result of a bunch of hopeless social circumstances. Police and investigators are again ignorant and so terribly stupid that their research doesn’t progress a bit. The most outstanding example is superintendent Susan Taylor (Alison Doody). I am categorically convinced that her cup size surpasses her IQ score without any problems. A police detective who doesn’t even know that her daughter is involved with the leader of the gang. And finally the retired ex-gangsters are presented as saviors of the past. Three times they are portrayed as the local scouts members who ensured the disappearance of scum of the street, so everyone could walk at ease on the streets during the night. After seeing some scenes I’m sure they weren’t members of the “Vienna Boys Choir” in their time.
But it was the cast that charmed me the most. Especially Ian Ogilvy sparkled on the silver screen. A sort of Roger Moore with a grayish beard who speaks all the time with a kind of Sean Connery accent. A quiet man who oozes authority. A superb acting performance by someone who surely has a legendary list of performances and participations in all kinds of television series. The three companions fit perfectly in that picture: three ruthless, tough elderly who flinch for nothing (but apparently after some efforts suffer from some physical ailments). Those four blood brothers dressed identically and looked like a senior version of “Reservoir Dogs” to me. The torture scene I thought was the highlight of the film: sadism mixed with cynical, sarcastic humor (the metaphor of the modern drill compared to the old-fashioned hand drill was obvious) .I chuckled and gloated at the same time. The youngsters weren’t bad either, although it sometimes seemed as if they wanted to copy the American slums. Danny-Boy Hatchard is great as riotous Aaron who doesn’t care about anybody and seems fearless, but on second thoughts he’s more of a coward who rather sends out his followers instead of a direct confrontation. His way of acting is sometimes exaggerated, especially the language irritated me after a while.
“We still kill the old way” has its charms and its shortcomings. The ending is a bit abrupt and sometimes quite naive performed. Some movie sequences look artificial like the dialogue between Richie and Susan in the pub. But overall in my opinion this was a successful British film and I wouldn’t have a problem if they brought up the old guard again to implement the idea suggested by Richie at the end.