Film Review: Bull


There’s seems to be something that the British, in particular, find fascinating about gangsters. While other countries have their own versions (Yakuza, Triads, Mafiosi etc), our hard men tend to be outwardly nasty and rotten, but with strong emotions bubbling beneath the surface. There was a time when people like the Krays were quasi-celebrities and hung out with the biggest stars of the days, but nowadays it’s far less glamorous. There’s certainly not much glamour in Bull.

Bull (Neil Maskell) returns to his old stomping ground with notions of revenge and redemption on his mind. It has been ten years since the former enforcer for a local gang disappeared, presumed dead. He’s desperate to save his son from his heroin-addicted ex-wife (Lois Brabin-Platt) and his father-in-law Norm (David Hayman), who controls the family and business with an iron fist. They’re surprised when he reappears, especially considering they killed him.

Bull is a muscular and full-blooded drama about family ties and a man facing up to his past. It’s structured in a way which gives the viewer a for immersive experience. Allowing you to walk in Bull’s footsteps while sidestepping some of the more obvious pitfalls. It’s Paul Andrew Williams’ best film since London to Brighton and Maskell’s, who was brilliant in Kill List, most assured performance. At its heart, Bull is a powerful character study which works thanks to some fine performances and precise writing.

Bull is out in UK cinemas from 5 November.

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