Crime, Drama, 2014
Director: Sacha Bennett
Starring: Ian Ogilvy
Settling very comfortably into the modern trend of gritty gangster movies, We Still Kill the Old Way dives into the idea that everything changes, and not always for the better. A small group of aged gangsters return to their hometown neighborhood for a funeral, discovering that the local punks running the streets now have none of the character, rules, or principles that the old guard claimed to. With the police not taking a stand, the retirees decide to take matters into their own hands.
The plot is reasonable, the characters more than single-minded instruments of vengeance, and the comedy is funny without tipping into camp. Admittedly I know very little about English street gangs, but the opposition characters as presented were believable with differing motives, varying morality, and breaking points. There is no question that our protagonists are bad men, but it’s easy to sit back and cheer as they work to dismantle a gang of worse people, returning to a place they once knew but are now strangers in.
While Ian Ogilvy’s Richtie Archer is undoubtedly the main focus, his friends have a very appreciable effect and role in the film – they aren’t just window-dressings that let us see how smart the main character is, as I’ve seen in other such movies. Their camaraderie feels real, and it seems the characters (eventually) genuinely enjoy working together once again.
I watched this back-to-back with its sequel, We Still Steal the Old Way, and vastly prefer this one to its successor, both on the strength of the characters and realism of the plot. The second showed more of Ritchie’s emotional flaws which was a welcome development, but most other aspects of the film paled in comparison.
Watch this If: You enjoy British crime dramas, revenge films, or you want to relive youthful glory days
Avoid this If: You dislike wisecracking lead men or want to avoid violent imagery
Rating: 4 / 5 (Would gladly watch again)