Son Of A Gun, movie review: Julius Avery's clichéd thriller rapidly slides into absurdity

(15) Julius Avery, 108 mins Starring: Ewan McGregor, Brenton Thwaites, Alicia Vikander
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The Independent Culture

The writer-director Julius Avery's thriller starts in impressively brutal fashion with youngster JR (Brenton Thwaites) landing in a maximum-security prison where violence and rape are rife. He comes under the protection of chess-playing thug Brendan Lynch (a bearded Ewan McGregor doing a fair impression of Robert Carlyle's Begbie from Trainspotting).

From here, the film begins its rapid slide into absurdity, invoking every action movie cliché imaginable. There's a prison escape by helicopter, a heist at a gold mine, a car chase and lots of double crossing, macho strutting and hardman dialogue, which seems to be at least partly tongue in cheek.

The brilliant Swedish actress Alicia Vikander has a thankless role as a Russian woman forced to work for one of the mobsters – but who falls in love quickly with Thwaites.

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