Today I enjoyed a highly gratifying afternoon watching Michael Caine blowing away hoodie pondlife in his latest film outing Harry Brown, not least of interest since I had had a similar idea for a pensioner vigilante film myself some while ago. This film seemed considerably more violent than my own film script might have been, but as with all the best film heroes, had the decency to make Harry a reluctant assassin, doing his best to put his Marine days behind him and live a quiet, law-abiding old age until simultaneously provoked beyond endurance and left with nothing to lose by the druggie scum making his estate a living hell, he rediscovers his latent military skills.
Despite his 76 years, Michael Caine continues to cut an imposing figure on screen with an even more imposing presence as the decent man trying to do the right thing, but just capable of overstepping the boundary when the boundary doesn't seem to know its own position any more and he finds the long arm of the law lacks meaningful reach.
Very much a cut above the usual British gangster fodder and not just owing to Mr Caine's presence, but a damn fine screenplay too, even if it must invariably share a few formulaic elements of the genre.
Entertainment-value aside, the film is a disturbing and damning endictment of both the state of 'broken Britain' and the uselessness of our Police force, who seem by turns frustrated by their own lack of powers and quite happy to afford said hoodie pondlife more human rights than the taxpayers who actually foot their wages bill.
Time was when the police were 'servants of the people' and widely-acknowledged as such - aka there to serve the public. Now they appear to be a free security force for big business (particularly when protecting its interests against any detractors) and enforcers of human rights for those whose actions in infringing upon and denying others their human rights should have led to forfeiture of their own some time ago.
The only ray of light is that as we tax payers are effectively the 'employers' of the Police, perhaps we should have the power to sack the lot of them if their service to us is unacceptable and demand a new Police force actually on the side of the decent and the law-abiding, who also happen to be their ultimate bosses to whom they are answerable.
We can't have all these tooled up 76 year old vigilantes running around on account of a film neglecting to display a 95 certificate, after all!
Top tip of the week: If you need the Police round in a hurry; to deal with a gang of yobs smashing your windows for example; rather than in a week's time, just phone up and lie that a gang of Animal Rights protesters are breaking into your shed to liberate your rabbits and request urgent assistance. Apparently they send the whole caboodle straight round, whirlycopters too, if you're lucky.