Son of a Gun review – ‘sub-Tarantino laughs and B-movie efficiency’

After the toe-curling embarrassment of Mortdecai, this punchy Australian crime thriller from writer/director Julius Avery goes some way to restoring Ewan McGregor’s reputation.

He plays grizzled jailbird Brendan Lynch, a beardy old lag who takes Brenton Thwaites’s new fish under his wing in a Shawshanky prison, in return for help on the outside where a ballsy gold-bullion heist awaits. It’s formulaic fare, with Alicia Vikander adding off-the-peg sparkle in an underwritten role as enigmatic moll Tasha. Unlikely discussions about the differences between chimps and bonobos provide sub-Tarantino laughs, and the heist is handled with stripped-down B-movie efficiency.

Powered by article was written by Mark Kermode, Observer film critic, for The Observer on Sunday 1st February 2015 08.00 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010