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Heavy, The (DVD Review)

16 Dec, 2010 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Street 12/21/10
$26.98 DVD
Rated ‘R’ for some strong brutal violence and pervasive language.
Stars Vinnie Jones, Christopher Lee, Gary Stretch, Stephen Rea, Shannyn Sossamon, Adrian Paul.

If looks could kill, former British middleweight boxer turned model/actor Gary Stretch (Dead Man’s Shoes, Alexander) is a one-man wrecking ball. His steely eyes, great hair and jaw line underscore “anti-hero” cool in independent British film The Heavy.

Stretch plays Mitchell “Boots” Mason, an ex-con dealing with a Mt. Everest-size chip on his shoulder. He just spent seven years in jail for killing his wife’s lover — a sentence imposed in part by testimony presented against him by his successful and ambitious brother (Adrian Paul), who fancies a run for prime minister.

And to rub salt on emotional scars: While incarcerated, a drunk driver killed Boots’ young daughter.

But like any wannabe Steve McQueen, Boots keeps his emotions in check and now works as a well-dressed “debt” collector for an unscrupulous businessman (Stephen Rea). It’s a vocation that finds him on the wrong end of a double-cross, and pursued by a mean cop (Vinnie Jones) with an agenda who hits women.

Redemption, salvation and vengeance are all in tall order, which is why Boots (in flashbacks) is seen early in the movie breaking into the apartment of a bewildered, frightened American beauty named Claire (Shannyn Sossamon).

To be sure, The Heavy is nothing like Christopher Nolan’s cult classic Memento (2000), in which a man, suffering from short-term memory loss, hunts for the killer of his wife. This is probably a good thing because who wants brains to get in the way of beauty?

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