Sexy Beast

Director:Jonathan Glazer
Writers:Louis Mellis, David Scinto
Fox Searchlight; R; 91minutes
Cast:Ray Winstone, Ben Kingsley, Amanda Redman

Ben Kingsley roars in the title role of Sexy Beast. He's a rigidly erect, testosterone-fueled Cockney thug with a strong sociopathic bent. The last person in the world you'd want interrupting your leisure time. So one can imagine the dismay of Gal (Ray Winstone) and Deedee (Amanda Redman) when they learn that Don Logan (Kingsley) is coming to visit them in their carefree retirement on Spain's Almerian coast. Gal and Deedee, a retired criminal and former porn star, left London for the easy life, but Logan crashes in to drag Gal back for a final heist.

The rules Sexy Beast plays by will be entirely familiar: the career criminal returns for a risky final challenge. Yet the film has panache. For example, an early sequence features Gal lounging in his backyard while an enormous boulder crashes down the mountainside, nearly crushing him, to land in the swimming pool. Like the film, it's outrageous and gutsy and plain fun to watch. Kingsley, of course, is the true master thief. He steals every scene he's in with Logan's wired ire. Is this really the man who played Gandhi?