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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield


Dir. Babak Anvari

Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield

Hugh Bonneville as a bad guy? Sold!

I CAME BY bolsters a national treasure as a good guy giving him a good grasp of what it means to be evil in a normal world. Behind it's big selling point there are moments of sheer terror tucked inside Babak Anvari's thriller.

Percelle Ascott is a great protagonist alongside a brilliant performance from George MacKay whos bonds create a need to uncover the truth behind sinister Bonneville's past.

At time creepy and unnerving, others comically bad, it's a film that doesn't quite gel near as well as it should yet still is no less dull for it. It's a strange act as the cast are sincerely not to fault for the films fitting plot points that deter from any real danger, an accolade Anvari certainly didn't carry over from his brilliant UNDER THE SHADOW. All death is off screen, any eventual events only assumed by the continuation of the story and a final revelation of Bonneville's reasoning that is laughably unrelatable.

Amidst all of the tension, it always amounts to an off screen action which is infuriating as the stakes rise, the audience are left questioning whether what is being portrayed is fact or a play on ambiguity however there is never a moment the ambiguity comes into play.

The absurdity of the script is baffling with one scene in particular seeing Bonneville cornered by police only for him to burst out of character leaving tears of laughter and confusion to whether what just happened actually just happened.

As a TV movie it probably deserves more credit but as a standalone Netflix produced movie it lacks the revelations to leave a lasting impact. A shame as there are some great performances within but its execution is less favourable and a film is much greater than a sum of it's parts especially the glue that's fallen apart here.

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