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Case Number 21830: Small Claims Court

Buy Ordinary Decent Criminal / Bravo Two Zero at Amazon

Ordinary Decent Criminal / Bravo Two Zero

Bravo Two Zero
1999 // 122 Minutes // Rated R
Ordinary Decent Criminal
2000 // 95 Minutes // Rated R
Released by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 21st, 2011

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson is an ordinary decent passerby.

Editor's Note

Our review of Ordinary Decent Criminal, published February 17th, 2003, is also available.

The Charge

Maximum movie experience.

The Case

Their words.

Because, really, the only "maximum movie experience" you're going to get is time investment. You get two films slapped on one disc, so if the notion grabs you, you can sink three and a half hours of your life into two so-so movies that I don't recall anyone clamoring for…

Ordinary Decent Criminal
Kevin Spacey (The Usual Suspects) stars as Michael Lynch an Irish criminal, who's more lovable than frightening. He enjoys robbing banks, avoids causing bodily harm and acts as inspiration to his fellow Dublin residents who speak in Irish accents so think it sounds like the teacher from Peanuts. At the height of his popularity, Michael catches the eye of a determined police officer, who is ultra-motivated to bring the fun-loving lawbreaker to justice.

There's some moderate amusement to be squeezed out of this relic from 2000. Kevin Spacey is good fun as always, Linda Fiorentino classes up the place with a fine performance as one of Michael's two wives (yep) and an early appearance by Colin Farrell is sort of cool. The story just didn't do anything for me. I can't sympathize with the "adorable criminal" routine because a) criminals aren't adorable and b) no matter how benevolent these characters try to be, something awful always happens that invalidates their dopey lifestyle, which should come as no surprise to any sentient viewer. This happens here.

Mini-Verdict: Blah.

Bravo Two Zero
Based on a true story, Bravo Two Zero tells the story of a squad of British SAS soldiers who find themselves behind enemy lines in Gulf War I. Saddam's thugs get a hold of them and make them miserable. Front and center: Andy McNab (Sean Bean, National Treasure) who gets tortured repeatedly. In fact, that's the meat of this film, an entire third devoted to McNab getting punched in the head, beaten in public, starved, interrogated, punched in the head some more and eventually…well, you'll have to find out for yourself.

As an examination of one man's capacity to endure all manner of physical abuse, Bravo Two Zero supplies the goods. Sean Bean does well as the recipient of such abuse, most of the time looking like he actually went through the trials and tribulations depicted onscreen. He's his usual bad-ass self, but less in the "orc-killing-Alpha-male" way and more in the "yes-sir-may-I-have-another" way. The events may be dated (wow, Gulf War I seems like forever ago), but the story's compelling and the central performance is a winner.

Mini-Verdict: Yah!

Both films are given mediocre, 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfers and stereo audio mixes. No extras.

The Verdict

A mixed bag of relative obscurity.

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Scales of Justice, Bravo Two Zero

Judgment: 80

Perp Profile, Bravo Two Zero

Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 122 Minutes
Release Year: 1999
MPAA Rating: Rated R

Distinguishing Marks, Bravo Two Zero

• None

Scales of Justice, Ordinary Decent Criminal

Judgment: 70

Perp Profile, Ordinary Decent Criminal

Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Release Year: 2000
MPAA Rating: Rated R

Distinguishing Marks, Ordinary Decent Criminal

• None

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