Movie Review: Son Of A Gun starts as a cool prison film, then devolves into generic schlock

Cast against type in Son Of A Gun as a badass, widely feared convict—someone who intimidates even the prison’s biggest, scariest dudes—Ewan McGregor does his best to turn off the charm and project the quiet intensity that would justify his character’s reputation. He does a reasonably decent job, especially in the film’s early scenes, in which he sports a bushy, not very Obi-Wan beard. Had the entire movie been set in prison, and continued in the same gritty vein that first-time writer-director Julius Avery initially establishes, it might have been an effective little nail-biter, along the lines of last year’s Starred Up. Unfortunately, this promising material turns out to be merely the setup for a thoroughly generic action flick in which a gang of thieves without much honor attempt to pull off one last big heist. In the long, dispiriting slide to mediocrity thereafter …

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