Starring: Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Dave King
Director: John Mackenzie
Running Time: 114 mins
The Long Good Friday is a British film about a notorious London gangster whose plans for the modernisation of the Docklands are disrupted by a series of mysterious bomb attacks.
This is a great film. It’s an interesting and exciting story filled with a lot of gruesome and realistic gangster situations, and while it may not be nail-bitingly tense to watch, it’s still hugely entertaining and exciting to watch.
I must say that this film really is quite gritty. It’s a forerunner to Guy Ritchie’s classics like Snatch. and Lock Stock, and has those exactly gruesome but necessary sequences to show the lives of these London gangsters, with some very hard-to-watch scenes, although they do add to the whole gritty feel of the film.
The story is also very well done. It’s not a generic gangster story, and doesn’t desperately try to rip off The Godfather, as it has strong elements of a mystery, starting almost immediately and continuing all the way through, meaning you do have to concentrate quite hard right from the beginning (and I mean RIGHT from the beginning) to really get it in the end.
It’s also a very unpredictable story. Again, the mystery adds to this quite significantly, and while it isn’t so incredibly tense, it does make it a much more exciting story, while the hot-headed main gangster, played brilliantly by Bob Hoskins, turns the entire story into something which you cannot predict.
What makes this so entertaining as well as the exciting and unpredictable story is the fact that it’s got a good sense of humour. In comparison to the American gangster films, which are definitely a lot more serious, the witty characters and conversation, and classically British sense of humour, make it hugely enjoyable also.
The only thing that stops this from being a much better film is the appalling soundtrack. It’s that horrible noise that belongs in a film like Star Trek rather than a gangster movie that was so common in the 1980s, and it really takes away the gritty, gruesome atmosphere about this film on many occasions, and that was particularly annoying to see (or hear).
Overall, this gets a 7.6, because it is an exciting and unpredictable story that is definitely entertaining to watch, despite a disappointing soundtrack.