Sexy Beast Movie Review

No, it's not a porno movie. It's yet another British crime caper film. And frankly, we'd rather have the porn.

Gal (Ray Winstone), an old time ex convict, is now retired. All he does is sweat by the pool, enjoy his form porn star wife Deedee (Amanda Redman), and share drinks with a couple of good friends. The setting is Spain, the sun is hot, and life is free of trouble... until, of course, one day when the peace must be disturbed -- and it is, by a guy named Don Logan. Presumably the titular sexy beast, Don (Ben Kingsley) appears on the scene and hell breaks loose as Gal gets back into his life of crime.

If you remember Kingsley's roles in Gandhi, Death and the Maiden, or Schindler's List, you'll definitely be surprised. His Don Logan, with bald head, goatee, and wiry physique resembles a cobra when he is silent and a crazed cockroach when he speaks. Don's years in organized crime have destroyed anything human he might have once had; he is now spooky, profane, socially maladroit, and extremely annoying.

And he's anything but sexy. In one scene, Don furiously leaves the airplane after refusing to extinguish his cigarette. Detained by Spanish officials, he concocts a story of a sexual assault by a steward -- the most darkly humored and misbegotten story of sexual harassment one could conceive of.

As an actor, Kingsley has achieved what was required of his beastly Don: You want to strangle him when he spits out profanities and run away when he moves toward you. The rest of the characters -- Gal (as played by Winstone, who has delivered strong, nuanced performances in Nil By Mouth and The War Zone), his wife, their friend Aitch (Cavan Kendall), and the ominous mob boss Teddy Bass (Ian McShane) -- are all second-hand parodies of cinematic stereotypes. The film tries to convey Gal's emotional turmoil in escaping his newfound life of crime, but it is really only able to rise to B-movie standards.

Sexy Beast marks the directorial debut of award-winning commercial and music video director Jonathan Glazer. And I would sincerely hope that after this film tanks, Glazer will be content, just like Gal at the Spanish villa, to go back to more familiar terrain. Sexy Beast, conceived as a black comedy/thriller and shot as a commercial, occasionally drips with irony and sometimes gives you pause, not knowing whether to wince or laugh. But mostly it just makes you shrug. Well, perhaps that was the idea.

Beast of burden.

Comments

Sexy Beast Rating

" Grim "

Rating: R, 2001

Advertisement

More Ben Kingsley

Exodus: Gods and Kings Trailer

Director Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven) talks about world of his new film, 'Exodus: Gods and Kings'. The film follows the life of...

The Boxtrolls Movie Review

A triumph on a variety of levels, this staggeringly detailed stop-motion animation has a wonderfully deranged story packed with spirited characters. It also takes on...

Robin Williams And Ben Stiller Re-Unite For More Magical Mayhem In 'Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb' [Trailer + Pictures]

Another treat is in store for movie fans this Christmas as the family favourite Night At The Museum returns for a third and final instalment....

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Trailer

Following on from the discovery that New York Natural History Museum's exhibits come to life after dark, security guard Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is faced...

Advertisement

Stonehearst Asylum Trailer

Stonehearst Asylum follows the plot of Edgar Allen Poe's short story The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether. It is a story about Edward...

See Heavily Eye-Linered Christian Bale As Moses In Ridley Scott's 'Exodus: Gods And Kings' [Trailer & Pictures]

Director Ridley Scott has dealt with some epic stories whether it's the might of the Roman Empire and the obsession with gladiators, slavering murderous aliens...

Exodus: Gods And Kings Trailer

Moses and the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses grew up together as brothers after the former was saved from drowing in the Nile. However, Moses has not...

Ben Kingsley is The Wise And Caring Bagheera in Jon Favreau's 'Jungle Book'

Ben Kingsley has joined the cast of Jon Favreau’s live-action adaptation of the classic Rudyard Kipling novel, The Jungle Book, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.Ben...

Advertisement