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All Things To All Men

All Things To All Men

Released 5 April 2013
Director George Isaac
Starring




Gabriel Byrne, Rufus Sewell, Toby Stephens, Elsa Pataky, Pierre Mascolo, Leo Gregory, Terence Maynard, James Frain, David Schofield, Julian Sands
Writer(s) George Isaac
Producer(s) Pierre Mascolo, George Isaac
Origin United Kingdom
Running Time 88 minutes
Genre Crime, thriller
Rating 15A
30

Crime doesn’t pay.

To describe a film as televisual used to be a way of damning with faint praise. Nowadays though, television is punching well above its weight - particularly when it comes to crime drama and thrillers, where the small screen is attracting considerable talent both in front of and behind the camera. All Things to All Men is one of those films that I may once have described as televisual but truthfully, it isn’t even in the same league as any crime drama on TV today.

This is the part where I describe the plot. You will have to bear with me here as essentially there isn’t one. Here’s what I do know; Rufus Sewell plays a detective called Parker, who heads a three-man squad that seems to operate almost entirely outside of the law. Their latest prey is a thief called Riley (Toby Stephens) who scowls a lot while sporting an impeccably lovely hairdo. Parker calls in mobster Joseph Corso (Gabriel Byrne) to set a trap for Riley involving a bank job. There’s also a glamorous woman (Elsa Pataky), a cool black cop in a flat cap (Terence Maynard) and Julian Sands.

Sure, a lot of stuff happens but little of it is backed up with any character motivation or indeed, explanation; people are double-crossed, preposterous plot-twists abound and a cast filled with great actors (and So Solid Crew’s MC Harvey) are utterly wasted. Visually, director George Isaac goes for that ultra-modern gloss that is currently fashionable in British crime movies and drops iconic London landmarks into scenes with such frequency that it starts to become like visual Tourette’s. A ten-second scene where Riley takes a phone-call while on the London Eye for no reason whatsoever is laugh-out-loud preposterous.

No doubt, the impressive cast of All Things to All Men will lure some unwitting punters into trading in their ten euro for a ticket but it will be ten euro sorely wasted. A key advantage that television has over the cinema is the ability to change the channel and after fifteen minutes of All Things to All Men, I was praying for a remote control.

- Linda O’Brien