Welcome to the Punch movie poster
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Welcome to the Punch movie poster

Welcome to the Punch Movie Review

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You may not have heard of Welcome to the Punch, but it's on Blu-ray this week anyway. The James McAvoy-starring thriller is about a police detective who gets one last chance to capture the elusive criminal (Mark Strong) who permanently injured him years before. He then discovers a much greater conspiracy in the process. I discovered something, too: every character is a terrible shot.

At least until the final shootout, when no one can miss. Go figure.

Welcome to the Punch is a moderately entertaining thriller that works - at least in the moment - thanks largely to its technical accomplishments. The movie looks great, thanks to strong direction by Eran Creevy and cinematographer Ed Wild. Harry Escott's score is also impressive and really brings the pieces together.

As for the other important elements - story, character, etc. - the movie is simply average. James McAvoy turns in a fierce performance as the physically damaged protagonist, and the rest of the cast does a fine job. But aside from McAvoy's, most of the characters are underdeveloped or uninteresting.

The plot, which has something to do with corrupt cops, politicians and a business deal, is the bigger problem. It has been done a hundred times before, and Welcome to the Punch brings nothing new to the table. Furthermore, it introduces the always awkward dynamic (SPOILER) where the good guy teams with the bad guy to fight a common enemy, ultimately leading to a will-he-let-him-go-at-the-end-or-not situation that never really works.

Welcome to the Punch has its merits, but suffers from a forgettable story which in turn makes the movie itself forgettable. Still, if you are looking for a new action-thriller, you could do worse.

Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.

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