Friday, October 19, 2012
In the endless array of cinematic serial killers, this Tony fellow just doesn't stand out enough. It's not a bad portrait of an emotionally stunted, lonely social retard who is compelled to kill. It's just that it's not a very remarkable one, either.
Part of the problem might be the tone. I sense an aura of dark comedy/satire in Tony, but it never fully forms. It paints a miserable picture of lower class London, full of junkies and pushers and predators, without ever seeming to have a point of view on the urban squalor. If the filmmakers had just pushed it a little further, gone a little over the top instead of playing it so close to the chest, broke away a little from the realism, we might have had something here.
Instead, it's a slice of life (albeit, of a strange and unpleasant life) that doesn't have the insight or a well fleshed-out enough world to make it a slice worth tasting. The film introduces an unpleasant weirdo, shows the depths of his awfulness, seems to flirt with making him vaguely sympathetic before abandoning that tack, shows us some lowlifes and I think one sympathetic person (who only has one scene, as I recall), tries to rally for some final act suspense and doesn't achieve it. It's not poorly made (and the acting is quite good) but it doesn't add up to much, either. I am certainly not one to insist that a movie have a "message" or even a "point," but Tony doesn't have much going on besides a slightly specified take on the same old serial killer cliches.