DVD review The Man Inside
Michael J Jones reviews a gritty Brit flick
The Man Inside, cert 15, 99 mins
Set in urban London, "The Man Inside" follows a young boxer and his difficult home-life amid gangs and violence.
Talented young actor Ashley Thomas plays the lead as Clayton Murdoch, a decent lad who is trying to deal with the memories forced upon him by his violent father; a crook, wife-beater and murderer.
Trying to keep his family together proves challenging from the off as a a series of tragedies threaten to turn Clayton into the maniac thug his notorious father once was.
The movie, written and directed by Dan Turner, provides edgey drama which cranks up in pace until the conclusion as Clayton has to face more tear-jerking heart-ache as well as finally facing his imprisoned Dad.
Veteran actor Peter Mullen provides useful back-up as the young fighter's good-hearted trainer while former Eastender's actress Michelle Ryan stars as the love interest.
It's a decent film which means well but at times it resembles 'gritty drama by numbers'. There's the inner-city violence, drug use, stabbings, guns, gangsters etc...some of which really isn't necessary at times.
Homeland star David Harewood is solid as the violent father but most of his scenes are disappointingly in flash-back format thus losing their much-needed edge.
Ryan is very pretty even as a (strange-looking) goth but one gets the feeling she is there for little more than her name and looks.
Overall worth a look but a bit heavy going with too many flash-back sequences and a disappointing finale. Thomas gives a good performance but it's not the power-house which is intended by far.
I give this movie five out of ten LF stars.