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October 2002                                                SITE MAP   SEARCH
Shiner
cast: Michael Caine, Kenneth Cranham, Frances Barber, and Matthew Marsden

director: John Irvin

95 minutes (18) 2001
Momentum VHS retail
Also available to buy on DVD
[released 14 October]

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by Christopher Teague
Get Carter transformed Michael Caine from an actor into a movie star. He's never really recaptured the zenith of that performance - Jaws: The Revenge springs to mind - but fairly recently he is netting his former glory, and with this feature, a welcome return back to the UK filmmaking scene, Irvin and screenwriter Scott Cherry have realised how influential Get Carter was and more or less transferred the character of Jack Carter (small-time gangster) into William 'Billy' Shiner (small-time boxing promoter, wannabe gangster).
   As you would expect, Caine steals the film with an excellent performance as the man out for revenge, and he is ably supported by a well cast group of UK actors, including Kenneth Cranham, Frances Barber and Matthew Marsden (making his debut) as Shiner's son. Caine's descent from happy and proud promoter of his first professional event to murderous individual, who will stop at nothing, is one of his most intense (one particular scene is superbly directed by Irvin and played by all the cast concerned).
   It's not a classic film by any means, for it is just Get Carter thinly disguised, and some of the performances are, occasionally, hammy. But there is a nice line of humour running through the script, and Caine revels in his role. Overall, this is definitely one of Caine's better films, but falls short of the classics such as Get Carter, Alfie, The Italian Job and Zulu.
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