I'll Sleep When I'm Dead Review

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Will Graham (Owen) is a gangster who comes out of retirement in the country to investigate the death of his brother, who apparently committed suicide.


Sure to suffer comparison with Hodges' seminal opening salvo as director, the cudgel-blunt Get Carter, his new foray into passionate revenge and the stern grey streets of British crime is an impressively austere but rough-edged piece.

The framework rings familiar again, with Owen's sad sack former hoodlum drawn back to the London haunts of misspent youth to trace the causes of his brother's (Meyers) shocking suicide. What he finds, amongst the detritus of his past, is a brutal male rape by sallow, cliched mob boss McDowell. Next stop: revenge.

Stark and sinewy to the point of maudlin, the film, at least, traces the mature grace notes of a skilled director, not the camp, jittery glamourisation of too many youthful entrants trying to play Get Carter. However, many subplots fizzle into nothing and the film drifts out in an ambiguous haze, a long way short of Carter's bleak retort.

It's grim and grey, but not in the same way that Hodges managed 30 odd years earlier. But while it might be a classic, it's got it where it counts.