Friday, 5 April 2013

Film review: All Things to All Men

With a twisty plot involving dodgy diamonds, drug deals and double crosses galore, All Things to All Men strains hard to deliver on a suspenseful setup. As its cast of bent coppers, crooked businessmen and furtive thieves try to outmanoeuvre one another, questions amass: what does Rufus Sewell’s shifty detective want with taciturn safecracker Riley (Toby Stephens)? How is crime lord Joseph Corso (Gabriel Byrne) involved? And, most mysterious of all, how did such a poor script manage to attract the involvement of such a respectable cast?

While the first two puzzles duly receive answers, the latter stays unsolved, with gaffe after gaffe chipping away at the film’s superficial slickness. Barely fleshed-out characters spout cliché-steeped dialogue; London landmarks are shoehorned into shot with absurd frequency; and sections of the story spark unflattering déjà vu – most notably when a plot point is seemingly filched wholesale from LA Confidential. Only Sewell escapes the affair unscathed, his wired performance in the final act rewarding those who stick around that long.

Out today

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