Monday, September 15, 2008

WAZ - grimy thriller undone by hammy acting

WAZ is gorgeously grimy, sludgy, filthy looking serial-killer/police-procedural from British writer-director Tom Shankland. It has the balls to show a serial killer who isn't completely demented but who's scarily in control and to give you scenes of stomach-turning torture. It also slips along at a tremendous pace with a suitably slippery plot.

The problem is that the characters are, killer aside, caricatures, played by actors who verge on pastiche. Stellan Skarsgard is the epitome of the grizzled cop and Melissa George is suitably naive and sweet as his newbie side-kick. Worst of all is Ashley Walters - a Londoner - who plays a New York gangsta like something from a rap video. Indeed, he gives a performance so ludicrous, with an accent so wide of the mark, that he rivals Fishburne for Least Convincing Hood of the Week.

WAZ played Edinburgh 2007 and ws released in the UK in February. It is available on DVD.

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