Beyond Fury Movie Review
Written by Joel Harley
Released by Giallo Films
Written and directed by Darren Ward
2019, 113 minutes, Not Yet Rated
Released on 7th June 2019
Nick Roberts as Michael Walker
Giovanni Lombardi Radice as Ivan Lenzivitch
Dani Thompson as Claudia
Jeff Stewart as Frankie
What if Death Wish... but set on the streets of England? So asks the third entry in Darren Ward's hard-boiled British crime trilogy. When ex-mercenary Michael Walker and pregnant girlfriend Claudia are brutally attacked by low-rent gangsters, the thugs make one mistake – not finishing the job. Walker is left for dead, his girlfriend and unborn child slaughtered and left splayed all over the street.
With the police proving useless, Walker takes to the streets, enacting his own brand of street justice. Working his way up to crime boss Ivan Lenzivitch (Giovanni Lombardo Radice, back from the director's Day of Violence), Walker will stop at nothing in avenging the deaths of all he held dear. One wishes he'd get a move on though, moving at such a languid pace that the bad guys have to go seek him out first.
Ever wondered what a bare foot looks like when smashed to bits by a ball-peen hammer? Or how that scene from The Mask would look (the one with the golf balls) taken to its extreme? Beyond Fury offers such depictions in intricate detail, oozing blood and guts like they're going out of fashion. Ward's spaghetti exploitation influences run deep through the film's veins, manifesting in the extreme gore and violence, and its villain, deliciously played by Radice. It's for the best that the bad guys get the majority of the screentime, as that's where all the good performances and action are.
Charming as they are, the film's Italian Grindhouse influences don't sit well next to its British setting (dinner at Wagamama, anyone?), and its genre aspirations are dragged down by endless scenes set in crummy overlit British estates, houses and back gardens. At times, it's like a working class Brit soap opera crossed with a lost 70s Italian Grindhouse feature. The feeling is only intensified by the amount of filler between action sequences, and stretches of banal dialogue in boring, overly bright rooms. Such filler is par for the course with authentic Grindhouse, but that doesn't make it any less of a chore to sit through.
Much of Beyond Fury is an impressive achievement – most notably its action and scope. It feels bigger than your average low-budget crime thriller, employing a surprising creativity in its staging and setup. Unfortunately, it's let down by the majority of the cast and the pace - at 113 minutes, it struggles to hold itself together, and the more amateurish acting becomes more and more grating with every passing minute. Nick Roberts is not a good action hero, lacking any sort of presence or threat, and the belly constantly peeking out from beneath his black t-shirt make for a less than intimidating proposition. Radice and his cronies are more than capable of doing all of the heavy lifting, but it would have been nice for them to have an enemy worthy of their spite and bile. Imagine Death Wish, but with Phil Mitchell in the Charles Bronson role.
None of which negates what has been achieved here. Beyond Fury is an ambitious, authentically nasty crime thriller with brutal gore and impressively horrible villains. It may not be everyone's cup of tea (depening on how much spaghetti you want in your tea) but it's worth a sip, all the same.
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