Dead Man’s Shoes

(Shane Meadows, UK, 2004)


Where would cinema be without revenge plots?

Revenge movies often pull a neat trick: they allow us to enjoy a campaign of righteous and often extremely bloody justice (as in Kill Bill) while also inviting us to take a moral distance from the avenger who goes too far.

Shane Meadows’s Dead Man’s Shoes is a painfully earnest, almost Biblical account of revenge in a small-time milieu of crime, drugs and hooliganism, abandoning the lightness of his previous Once Upon a Time in the Midlands (2002).

Paddy Considine (who co-wrote) is excellent as the implacable, relentless anti-hero. But, a few choice moments of black humour aside, this is an overwrought and rather empty film, with a narrative twist that one can see coming about five minutes in.

MORE Meadows: A Room for Romeo Brass

© Adrian Martin July 2005

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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