Posted Mar 31 2018

Journeyman - This Movie Rocks Punchy

Dir: Paddy Considine

Starring Paddy Considine, Jodie Whittaker, Paul Pollplewell, Tony Pitts, Anthony Welsh

Paddy Considine’s second film as writer-director (putting himself into the ring on screen this time) is strong at times but uneven, set around the world of professional boxing, something clearly dear to the man’s heart. More significantly though, it is a look at the after effects of what happens in the ring, as his central character Matty Burton retains his world championship title, but hours afterwards, suffers some kind of event that leaves him permanently brain damaged. Fighting back from this all too frequent, but nonetheless tragic situation is what then comes to dominate the film, with Considine delivering a heartfelt performance, capturing the unpleasant reality of his protagonist.

Also impressive is Doctor-in-waiting Whittaker who certainly enlists the audience’s sympathies as his wife facing up to having to live with her changed husband, who moves between acting like another baby for her to look after, to a man frustrated enough to violently lash out at both her and his lack of control.

It’s a serious subject, well-captured, but it verges between a sense of social realism and movie sentimentality that doesn’t often sit well side by side as presented here.

While it eschews the unrelenting grimness of Tyranosaur (probably a relief for all) this also lacks the impact of that movie. Given its subject, Journeyman (perhaps the title gives it away?) punches below its intended weight.


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