Having served his sentence for beating the crap out of someone Mitchel (Colin Farrell) is out of the slammer and back in London. But whilst his old mates such as Billy (Ben Chaplin) and Danny (Stephen Graham) expecting him to return to his old criminal ways, pulling off jobs like he use to do, Mitchel plans to go straight as he doesn't ever want to go back inside. It leads to him becoming a handyman and bodyguard for reclusive actress Charlotte (Keira Knightley) who grows fond of him. The trouble is that Mitchel's old mob boss Gant (Ray Winstone) doesn't like one of his boys turning his back on him and is going to make sure that Mitchel returns one way or another.
Very few movies get a physical response from me these days, well when you have watched so many it takes something special to make you not so much sit up but find yourself becoming animated by it. Animated is how I was as I watched "London Boulevard" as it is a movie undone by a seriously split personality which leaves you going WTF as it is unable to maintain a consistent theme and style.
Let me try and explain what I mean. On one side we have a London crime comedy aspect with touches of the Guy Ritchie about it with stereotypes. But then there is almost a Scorsese aspect to this as writer/director William Monahan uses a great soundtrack which becomes a character in its own right. And then there is almost a Tarantino like aspect to it with a storyline which feels like a bit of an update on an old western where you have the outlaw trying to go straight but with the old gang making life difficult for him. Whilst it could have worked there is something missing, something not quite right which prevents "London Boulevard" from being better than just okay.
Trying to work out what is missing I suppose I could say Danny Dyer and his old mucker Tamer Hassan as a London crime caper with out them just doesn't seem right. Then there is Ben Chaplin who as the greasy haired Billy seems to be trying too hard to be funny. But then the whole reclusive movie star storyline seems almost out of place alongside the crime story although in its own right is entertaining thanks to the performance of David Thewlis as Charlotte's posh live in manager with a distinctly dangerous side.
What this all boils down to is that "London Boulevard" ends up so frustrating that it is likely to make you animated. The thing is that all the parts of the "London Boulevard" works but they don't work together which is why it is messy and quite frustrating.