This is another one of those movies that I feel like I should have liked more than I did. It was both classic and fresh with a story that resembled that of a fairy tale and yet was not tired or overdone at all, it was foreign, well acted for the most part and had really interesting and at times really brutal visuals. But for some reason certain scenes and actions by the characters, mostly the main one, kept rubbing me the wrong way and kept this film from really shining as brightly (or darkly) as it could have.
I think a big part of my dislike for the main character comes from his over the top view of his own misfortune. Pining away over his disfigurement and how it will keep him from ever attaining love, which considering his affliction is merely a purple discoloration on his eye and shoulder I'm thinking he's better off without any females that would find enough issue with that for it to be a relationship deal breaker. Had he had some sort of real disfigurement like a severely cleft palate, or an abnormal growth on his face or anything a bit more extreme than what he did, I may have had a bit more sympathy for him, but as it stands......I didn't, call me an a**hole but I've known people much worse off than him over the years who weren't half as depressed. BUT, as much of and issue as I took to that, it is about my only real issue with this film, the rest of it is very well done. The story centers around this young and unfortunate fella who lives in a morally decaying version of the U.K. and encounters some fiendish gang types who may be responsible for it. After several encounters with these ghoulish hell raisers (in which one of his mother is killed) he decides,in a rather cliched manner, "to take matters into his own hands" at which time an offer that is just as cliche comes up from a devilish character and.......you guessed it, he can't refuse it, at which point he discovers he's been tricked by the devil (really?!) and is forced to do some unspeakable things. Despite the clicheness of alot of this, these encounters are all organic and entertaining with alot of the characters being very engaging and well developed. And the story does have a certain freshness to it despite the way I may have painted it.
The violence in this film is kind of a weird entity, seemingly brutal in retrospect and yet it never really got much of a rise from me as I watched it, It all seemed a bit routine and disengaged me at points. But it was quality work nonetheless. It's just a bit strange that a movie included violence at this level and yet all I can remember really being all that gross was the fact the main character was always drooling all over himself.
I think I may be alone in a lot of my opinions on this one but I'm sticking to my guns on this one. This film had a lot of potential, and a lot of elements of success, but fell way short of anything I can really get behind.
6/10 detached retinas