BRITAIN is broken, almost beyond repair.
Knife crime has, shockingly, become part of everyone’s lives as teenagers take their arguments onto the streets. Fear and insecurity fan the flames of racism and intolerance, while our prisons are full to bursting as police struggle to maintain law and order.
In these dark and depressing times, unlikely heroes make a stand against all of the savagery.
For Daniel Barbers brutal and uncompromising directorial debut, that hero is a retired Marine, whose best friend dies at the hands of a gang of yobs.
Rather than sit back and let these animals run amok, the old-timer vows revenge by speaking the only language that these young men and women know: punishment.
Sir Michael Caine delivers one of his finest performances for years in a role thematically reminiscent of Clint Eastwood’s harrowing thriller Gran Torino.
Barber’s film is more gritty and hard-hitting, opening with a gang initiation that comprises shooting a nameless woman on the street.
It is the first of many instances of senseless bloodletting, as the tightly-wound narrative leads the eponymous vigilante on a heartbreaking tour of squalid drug dens and crime-riddled housing estates.
Harry Brown (Caine) is a widower who lives alone now his wife has passed away on a housing estate, which is under the control of a gang of thugs, led by the sadistic Noel Winters (Ben Drew).
The war veteran’s closest pal, Leonard (David Bradley) is being terrorised by Noel’s posse – they push dog faeces through his letterbox and even set fire to the old man’s doormat.
The film strikes very few false emotional notes, emboldened by Caine’s fearless and mesmerising lead performance as a man with nothing to lose, who may very well pay with his life as he doles out tough justice.