All Things To All Men
Directed by: George Isaac
Starring: Gabriel Byrne, Rufus Sewell, & Toby Stephens
In All Things To All Men, debut director George Isaac had achieved an extraordinary thing – a short, fast-paced thriller that somehow feels like a long, dreary evening staring into a ditch. This is a Gritty British Crime Thriller, as if perhaps the world was pleading for one more addition to a tired and overpopulated genre.
It involves a heist that draws together a trio of dodgy characters. Riley (Stephens) is the master thief, hored to pull off the job. Joseph Corso (Byrne) is London’s major crime boss, always looking for a piece of the action, but drawn into the mix by family ties. And then there’s Parker (Sewell), a detective determined to take Corso down, and keep an unhappy Turkish lender off his back while he’s at it.
Which seems a simple enough story, but throw in a bunch of random characters, dead-end plot strands and convoluted twists and turns, and it all gets ridiculously complicated. Which might be almost bearable if there were a few laughs here and there, standard procedure in the Gritty British Crime Thriller but painfully absent here. To his credit, he knows how to frame a nice shot, and London looks very fine through his lens.He’s also got Gabriel Byrne on the plus side, and Byrne brings as much life and menace as he can to the poor material. In the end, it’s not near enough to save the day.