Star rating: ****
Inspired by true events, the shocking story of London’s most feared and notorious brothers Reggie and Ronnie Kray as they break Frank ‘The Mad Axeman’ Mitchell from Dartmoor Prison in December 1966.
With a cast chock-full of famous faces, this film promises to lead the viewer into a grisly past and with stellar performances, a gritty storyline and atmospheric locations – it does not disappoint.
The violently gripping tale takes place over a period of twelve days after Frank (Josh Myers) has been ‘released’ by the Krays, he’s under close surveillance from Albert Donoghue (Chris Ellison) and Lisa Prescott (Rita Simons), the latter is bait to keep the ‘madman’s’ temper under control but he’s losing patience due to the no-show from Ronnie (Nathanjohn Carter).
The film doesn’t concentrate on the Kray twins particularly, honing in on the character of Frank and giving opportunity for Rita Simons to showcase her extraordinary talent as she takes on the role of hostess keeping the escapee under control exceptionally. Carter as Ronnie with Marc Pickering as Reggie are believable and sinister as the lords of the underworld, each one stereotypical according to what we already know about their respective characters. I enjoyed the fact that the story didn’t revolve around them as the subtleties of their personas could be observed.
It’s not a period during the Krays’ reign that I have dwelled on before, therefore I found it a challenging and thought-provoking story and whilst factual it remained as entertaining as any first class crime drama. Although films of this brutal genre are not necessarily my usual choice, which may have clouded my view at certain intervals throughout the movie, as a piece of dramatic cinematography it’s a masterpiece.