Dead Man's Cards (18) <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

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The Independent Culture

The main reason for watching this would-be gritty thriller is Paul Barber - Horse in The Full Monty - who in late middle age is developing a cragginess that's positively geological. No doubt the electric buzz of bitterness he gives off here has been helped by decades of background roles in sitcoms and popular TV dramas. He plays a tough bouncer at a Liverpool bar who recruits a down-on-his-luck boxer as his back-up, just before the local druglord decides to muscle in on the territory. The violence is largely convincing, but plot and dialogue are rickety, acting uneven, and the whole thing is infected with a very forced fatalism.