Welcome to the Punch

MPAA Rated – R
It’s 1:39 Long
A Review by:
The Dude on the Right

Welcome to the Punch
Movie Stats & Links
Starring: James McAvoy, Mark Strong
MPAA Rated: R
Released By: IFC Films
Released On: July 23, 2013
Kiddie Movie: Please put them to bed – there’s a lot of violence.
Date Movie: She might snuggle.
Gratuitous Sex: More would have helped.
Gratuitous Violence: Lots of guys who can’t seem to hit anything with their automatic weapons.
Action: It’s got some chasing.
Laughs: Not really.
Memorable Scene: The slow-motion, guns blazing, kidnapping scene was pretty cool.
Memorable Quote: Nothing stood out.
Directed By: Ridley Scott
Cool Things on the Blu-Ray: It’s got the “Making of…” for you film buffs.

Oh, how I wanted to like “Welcome to the Punch” a lot more than I did. How I really wanted to. Alright, before I give my final analysis, let’s get to the story a bit.

In “Welcome to the Punch” we get Max (James McAvoy). He’s a cop. Okay, he’s technically a detective, but who’s really countin?. We also get Jacob (Mark Strong). He’s a thief who robs banks. No, not your corner bank with a few bucks in it but the major money locations, with enough cash to live off of in a nice lifestyle for the rest of your life. Opening with Jacob in the middle of what is supposed to be his last run, his money-maker as it would be, his “I can retire from this life of crime now and live in a nice retreat in Iceland” kind of heist, he is almost taken down by Max, and during the ensuing fight Jacob get the upper hand, and instead of just shooting Max in the head, Jacob shoots Max in the leg, leaving Max to a life of guilt and gimpiness. So, Jacob gets away and is living a relaxing life, Max is trying to get through his demons, and then, wouldn’t you know it, Jacob’s son ends up living a life of crime, ends up shot, caught by the cops, and now dad has to come and break him out of the hospital.

Yup, you know what that means! Max is now going to get his chance to get his bad guy and get the demons out of his head! So, of course, Jacob comes back, Max is hot on his trail, but what kind of movie would that be? It could have developed into a great “cat and mouse” kind of flick, but nope, the movie folks decide to throw in some conspiracy crap, some government corruption, and a backend storyline about gun-running, or some stuff like that, and of course somehow Max and Jacob find themselves in the middle of it all, and although not becoming the best of friends, their life courses intertwine in their own quests to find the truth about what is really going on with Jacob’s son.

Here’s the thing… For the most part I was enjoying the movie, at least until it became all cookie-cutter on me with the story and some of the action sequences. Sure, there was a lot of low-talking by bad guys complete in nighttime scenes when all bad things happen, and there were an awful lot of bad guys with automatic weapons who really needed some time at a shooting range because, most of the time, these guys couldn’t shoot the broad side of a barn if they were standing ten feet in front of it. And, oh yea, I wondered how Max even still had a job what with his bad leg and mental issues. And, oh yea yea, I was close to wondering why no one really cared the lady cop was missing for the longest time. In the end, though, I was okay with most of that. It was really the “government officials are corrupt and now the bad guy and good guy need to team together to save the world, or at least get revenge” story that annoyed me.

The movie is good-looking, well shot with some great scenes (and yes, complete with the obligatory, slow-motion, show bullet come out the chamber, and here’s the bullet hitting the bad guy complete with blood splatter), and even the acting is good, but all of the Ridley Scott goodness gets lost in the not-really-original story.

The Ridley Scott goodness gets the movie 4 stars, the cookie-cutter story 1 star, so I suppose I’ll average everything together and add ½ star because I’m in a good mood.

With that it’s 3 stars out of 5 for “Welcome to the Punch.” So much potential lost in a story anyone could come up with.

The Blu-ray has a bunch of interviews, and a nice “Making-of” featurette, but unless you are an avid film buff looking for some artsy insight into the character development, you’ll probably skip it.

A decent rental none-the-less – enjoy it for the basic-ness that the movie is.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!