No Way Home review

Tim Roth is rapidly turning into a British Son Of Harvey Keitel. He crops up all over the place, and in all sorts of roles (he's in Everyone Says I Love You this month, and Gridlock'd very soon), yet still keeps coming back to the Petty Crim parts. No Way Home is small-scale fare that's entertaining enough, but it gives off a strong whiff of déjà vû; then you realise that Roth's jailbird role is practically the same as the one he played in 1994 con-shags-dentist flick Captives.

As the newly released Joey, Roth stumbles and mumbles through his first day of freedom, rapidly realising that things are no easier on the outside. Okay, so nobody's torturing him now (the movie opens with some biliously graphic scenes), but going straight when your brother's an habitual crim and his wife hates you is even more challenging than doing bird. Tommy (regular heavy Russo) gives Joey the brotherly love he needs, but he's a dangerous role model: Joey desperately wants to start a new life, but big bro's crazy ways of scraping a living soon edge little bro closer to recidivism. Sure enough, bad debts accrue, and gun-carrying heavies come a-calling...

No Way Home tells a good, solid story, has its fair share of exciting moments and benefits greatly from a quality cast. But the first half is too slow, parts of the plot are just a little too convenient, and the dialogue is, for the most part, ordinary. Still, writer/director Buddy Giovinazzo (only previous film: the little-known Combat Shock) is definitely on the right track.

A competent, downbeat exploration of the perils of "going straight". Director Giovinazzo will doubtless go onto greater things.

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