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I Love A Man In Uniform Review

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A bank teller and aspiring actor (McAmus) finally lands his big break on a b-grade TV cop series, he takes method preparation to a whole new level, and walks the streets in his costume. With the initial rush of appreciation and fame, he begins to lose his grip on reality.

★★★★

Despite its upbeat title, this is a dark and disturbing debut from writer/ director Wellington examining, in graphic realism, alienation in the big city, obsession and TV violence, through aspiring actor Henry Adler (McCamus).

When he lands the role of maverick cop Flanagan in the trashy TV series Crimewave, Adler quits his job at the bank and throws every ounce of creative energy into his part. Taking method to extremes even De Niro would baulk at, he patrols the streets of Toronto in his police uniform pretending to be one of the city's finest. Suddenly people notice him and his swaggering new alter ego, but the deception becomes addictive and he starts to lose his grip on reality.

With more than a cursory nod towards Taxi Driver, Wellington chronicles Henry's decline from nervous wannabe to confused urban vigilante with a refreshingly clinical script devoid of sentiment and punctuated with deliciously over-the-top violence. McCamus is mesmerising throughout, dominating every last frame in the complex and difficult Travis Bicklesque role, supported by Bako as the reluctant object of his desire and Tighe piling on the sleaze as a bent cop extorting money and sexual favours from prostitutes.

Although the ending is a little too neatly packaged and it's not always clear what message the film is trying to preach, this is a hugely impressive and highly compelling first feature guaranteed to please anyone not put off by daft titles and obscure plots.

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