class=”alignleft size-thumbnail wp-image-35987″ title=”Jack Falls Poster” src=”https://www.heyuguys.com/images/2010/08/JackFalls_Poster_Cast_lo-res-e1281380313738-220×127.jpg” alt=”” width=”220″ height=”127″ />The final chapter in Paul Tanter’s Jack trilogy is an effective thriller rooted in, but not burdened by, the gritty London gangster genre and completes the story of Jack Adleth in a compelling fashion.
As this is the endgame the film is stripped down to its essentials; the momentum of the film carries everything and everyone to their inevitable end with a sense of urgency. The high contrast black and white, previously used in the flashback sequences of the preceding films, is a bold move, with colour used sparingly and it’s more than a superficial choice – this film is about good and evil, with very little in between. There is duplicity here but for the most part once Jack decides that an end is needed the whole film shakes off the extraneous elements prevalent in many films of this sort.
If you’ve not seen the two films previous to Jack Falls it’s worth catching up, although the film does work on its own. While the series began with an undercover cop losing his footing in the criminal world, then being unable to find a way back to his old self, there is less soul searching here – Jack Falls begins with an assassination attempt of our main character, then is all about him finding catharsis and revenge.
The shift in tone from the film’s immediate predecessor is an effective and worthwhile move. Despite the tough nature of Jack Said the bickering in the family business between the two daughters of the boss had a playful edge whereas there is nothing frivolous about this final chapter. Simon Phillips continues his great work as lost undercover cop Jack Adleth, who is submerged so far in the corruption of both the criminal world and the police force he worked for that everything becomes about breaking the surface. Phillips’ subdued manner always has the threat of violence about it, and it’s a compelling mix. He makes it work, holds the film together when it is in danger of getting stuck in the cliches of the genre.
First time director Paul Tanter, adapting from his own comic book series, does an exceptional job with the action, with the set piece of Jack and Natasha, played by Olivia Hallinan, trapped in a block of flats was particularly well handled and the film thankfully punctuates the uncompromising action with some great character work from Phillips, Jason Flemyng and Hallinan. Tamer Hassan and Dexter Fletcher make the most of their roles, and Adam Deacon and Alan Ford make for an unusual and enjoyable criminal pairing.
It’s a stylish end to the series, benefiting from stripping itself to the bone and allowing the narrative line from the previous films to lead but never tether the story. Phillips is compelling in the lead and the direction from Tanter and Dominic Burns has a confidence and vitality to it. Look beyond the obvious comparisons to Sin City or the many children of the Lock Stock school of geezer gangster films and you’ll find a strong final chapter to this British noir trilogy.
The Blu-ray and DVD of the film is out on Monday the 21st of March.