Hyena (18)

Directed by Gerard Johnson
Picturehouse, Liverpool
From 13th March 2015

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

An opinion has been expressed that this film about bent coppers - very bent - and ruthless gangsters is that it is an art house version of The Bill. I cannot comment on the similarity to The Bill because I have never watched it, but to compare it to an art house film is beyond belief.

Far from being art house it is a cliche-ridden movie containing several x-rated scenes of violence perpetrated by both police and hoodlums in West London , copious use of cocaine, and overt machismo throughout.

Barely five minutes or so into the film the first blood-splattered murder takes place - a Turkish drug dealer being sliced apart by machetes wielded by the Kabashi brothers from Albania.

This dark and murderous tone continues throughout with cinematographer Benjamin Kracun expertly capturing the bleakness and lack of human empathy, mainly seen in nighttime scenes of deprived areas of London.

Lead performer and cocaine addict cop, Michael Logan (Peter Ferdinando), impresses throughout with his disturbed state of mind, with all the appalling incidents taking place around him, not being helped by his constant use of Charlie.

His problems are not eased by being investigated for his alleged misdemeanours by anti-corruption investigators, led by Nick Taylor (Richard Dormer), who suffers a grisly end for his troubles.

Far less impressive in the acting stakes is Kirkby-born Stephen Graham (Awaydays) as Logan's boss, David Knight, with his broad scouse accent jarring to the ear. He is only seen briefly but adds nothing to the story.

On a more praiseworthy note the claustrophobic menace taking place amid the carnage is intensified by the propulsive synth soundtrack composed by Matt Johnson (The The).

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