This gritty, humane, Channel 4-funded thriller is streets ahead of The Devil's Own with which it shares certain plot similarities. After escaping from a Belfast prison, Stephen Rea's disillusioned IRA terrorist flees to New York, determined to crush his links to knee-capping, bomb-making and violence and to outgrow his fondness for black balaclavas. But when he meets a group of Guatemalan political exiles (who are, funnily enough, planning an assassination), he finds himself drawn inexorably back into his old blood-stained world. Low-budget and perhaps low-key, the film nevertheless receives a big boost from an intelligent script by Ronan Bennett (Face), lots of atmospheric location shooting courtesy of Tarantino regular Andrzej Sekula, and the slick, edgy direction of Robert Dornheim (Sophies Wal), who's able to handle the action sequences and the intimate moments between the characters with appreciable skill. Better still, this film's Irish hitman is actually Irish. No dodgy Brad Pitt accents here.
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