|By Mira Harber
Who comes to
mind as the definition of ‘saintly’ when it comes to actors? More to the
point, who plays saintly men extraordinarily well? Last hint - this actor
won an Oscar for Gandi, and he was the soulfull accountant in Schindler’s
List. Give up? The answer is the wonderful British actor Ben
Beast he plays the dreaded Don Logan - a loose canon, a vile,
thoroughly nasty, London gangster who descends upon some former ‘colleagues’
now living in Spain. Don has an offer they can’t, or if he has anything
to say about it, won’t ever, never,ever consider refusing. Don has
come to see Gal (Ray Winstone).
Gal is a retired
gangster, gone more than a little soft, whose main occupation nowadays
appears to be getting an even tan and spending time with his wife DeeDee
(Amanda Redman) who is also retired. Her line of work was equally unconventional
- she was once a porn star, and still has fan clubs that meet regularly
in her honor.
The movie opens
with Gal baking his beefy, decidedly not-buff body by the pool. You can
feel the sun beating down on him, and the heat is absolutely sweltering,
when suddenly the silence is broken by a gigantic boulder hurtling down
a hill. It narrowly misses Gal and ends up in his pool.
Don is the
human version of the boulder. He’s one of those men who are ramrod straight
in their posture, and totally out-of-control emotionally. As he shouts,
his face turns red, a vein appears in his forehead, and he spits in anger
at the poor soul unfortunate enough to be the object of his attention.
Don wants Gal
to come out of retirement to do ‘one last job’. Neither Gal nor his wife
want him to do the job, but that is meaningless to Don. He is relentless
and woe to anyone who defies him. His boss Teddy is played by the suave,
cold, cold, cold Ian McShane. He meets the CEO (James Fox) of a super-high
security bank that abuts a Turkish bath. Teddy’s idea is to rob the bank,
and Don’s job is to assemble the dream team to rob the bank.
I won’t tell
you any more of the plot but let me just say that this movie should be
required viewing for anyone who is considering a career in organized crime.
These British criminals are not glamorized - their lives are seedy and
hard, and they are tough - so tough that you get the feeling they could
eat the Soprano’s for lunch!
If you want
to see the best villain in recent memory, Sexy Beast is for you.
It’s not pretty, but Don is such a great bad guy that days later, I’m still
scared, just thinking about him.