No laughing matter – ★
It was with stunned disbelief that we heard of the press pack for A Belfast Story which consisted of nails and a balaclava. Having since seen the film it makes perfect sense; it was made by an idiot.
A Belfast Story follows Colm Meaney as a burnt out detective brought into investigate a series of old IRA members being murdered. He growls his way through the streets of Belfast with a young fresh face rookie, Damien Hasson, by his side. This is cliche number 1 of many. Malcolm Sinclair plays the shady Chief Constable and we’re not quite sure where his loyalties lie, cliche number 2.
The nails have more charisma than most of the cast and those who can act from previous experience, as Meaney doesn’t show it here, will more than likely put it down to the script. Apart from the terrible acting, poor script, bad direction and woeful music what is really odious about this film are its core messages. It’s against The Good Friday Agreement, pro-vigilantism and reduces the complex issues at play in Northern Ireland to such a juvenile and simplistic level that it becomes insulting to members of that community or to anyone with more than a four-year-olds understanding of The Troubles.
For a brief second it attempts to make a somewhat valid point with the suggestion that those involved in past violence should be left behind allowing the rest of the people to get on with rebuilding a society free of the old guard. However this is blown clean away with a mere 30 seconds of audio that comes at the end of the film over a GAA game. If you manage to keep your mouth from hitting the floor I congratulate you. Do not see this film.
Released across Ireland on September 20th 2013