Boots Mason is a tough guy all right, make no mistake about it. There’s always room in the over-crowded London mob scene for a guy like him, and so it is that we find him doing a spot of debt-collecting at the start of this derivative gangster movie, The Heavy. He’s not long out of jail, actually, having been put there on the evidence of the prosecution’s star witness, his brother — the same brother who is now a Member of Parliament and is in the running for party leadership. I suppose in the age of an England football captain having a father convicted of drug-peddling anything’s possible, but one wonders what the Daily Mail would make of this.
Ex-boxer turned actor Gary Stretch (23-2, 14 wins by knockdown, if you’re interested) is Boots, a man who never smiles, never raises his voice, and apparently never shaves. Since his release he’s been in the employ of West End auctioneer Anawalt (Stephen Rea), a man with numerous shady deals on the go at all times. Anawalt paid for his bail, you see, and so Boots owes him. Anawalt is accompanied by Rubin, as played by Lee Ryan, former member of boy band Blue (14 singles, 3 number ones). Anawalt may be the one with his fingers in the nefarious pies, but it’s Rubin’s pudgy fingers that are going to pay the price meted out by the hammer and chisel of crooked cop Inspector Dunn (Vinnie Jones, 386 career football appearances; 33 goals, 7 red cards).
Boots, as is the way with ex-boxers, is good with his fists. Hates guns, though. Too bad, says Anawalt, and sets him up in a shootout over a drug deal gone bad. Boots survives due to his frankly superhuman shooting ability and returns to Anawalt. Too bad again, says Anawalt, now take this enormo-gun and assassinate your brother. Boots stares — Boots does a lot of staring in The Heavy, actually — takes the gun and breaks into single American woman Claire’s (Shannyn Sossamon) flat directly opposite 100 Whitehall, the very place that Boots’ frà¨re is about to announce his candidacy. I’m not exactly sure how a single American girl could raise the funds to live in such a location, but there we are. So, Boots waits and stares, the American girl pants and trembles, the brother’s visit approaches, Inspector Dunn carves out a new career for ‘Lefty’ Lee Ryan, and Christopher Lee and Jean Marsh stumble in and out of the movie, befuddled.
Ordinarily, when a film goes wrong you need look no further than the director for the guilty party. He hired the actors, he adapted the material, and he liked what he saw. In this case, the director also wrote the wretched thing, so he’s even more culpable. Hang your head in shame, Marcus Warren, for presenting this rubbish to us and attempting to pass it off as entertainment. When Vinnie Jones is the best of the lead actors in your movie, you should have twigged that something was seriously wrong.