Would anyone have heard of Sexy Beast had Ben Kingsley not been nominated for an Oscar? Probably not. Would anybody have cared? Probably not.
Despite the mesmerizing supporting performance of Kingsley (best known for Gandhi), Sexy Beast does not have much to offer. It tries to be funny in that dark criminal kind of way, but really isn't; it tries to be odd, featuring a really furry creature with a machine gun, but just looks stupid in the process; and it tries to tell a deeper story than is actually presented. When all is said and done, Sexy Beast is nothing more than a flashy criminal fluff film, with some good acting but not much else.
The movie is about a retired thief who is coerced, in a peculiar way, into doing one more job by a nasty gangster (Kingsley). In terms of crime, the movie really doesn't get to the point until the last twenty minutes of this [thankfully] short film. If anything, though, Sexy Beast is character driven, but without good characters. Don't get me wrong -it's fun to watch Kingsley be shockingly anti-Gandhi, and I did feel a little bit for the main character, but the movie never allows us to actually get to know the characters. It is so obsessed with delivering an odd movie that it forgets about character backgrounds - the 'why'... why should I care or hate these characters?
More than anything else, the movie is just slow and boring, and not too entertaining. The boulder at the beginning of the film is pretty funny in a random kind of way, and Sexy Beast has a few other odd moments here and there that attracted my attention, but other than that, I really wasn't interested. Because I wasn't interested, I didn't pay attention to the story too much, and by the end of the film, I didn't really know what was going on, and I didn't really care. Some of Kingsley's dialogue made me listen more intently, but even his character wasn't intriguing enough to get me to sit there for an hour and a half.
Sexy Beast was surprisingly bland, and despite some good performances, had very little to offer.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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