Today: April 17, 2024

The Veteran

After serving in Afghanistan, battle-scarred, demobbed paratrooper Miller (Toby Kebbell) returns home to the bleak, crappy housing estate and the violent gang culture he joined the army to escape. Alienated and alone, haunted by his combat experience and suffering from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, Miller’s return to the hood brings him into conflict with local gangsta Tyrone (Ashley Bashy Thomas) who’s looking for someone with just Miller’s skillset. Unable to find a job, he drifts into the employ of a shadowy government agency, run by sinister spooks Tony Curran and Brian Cox, who want him to keep tabs on a home-grown terrorist cell. Increasingly drawn to beautiful informant Alanya (Adi Bielski) who may have gone native in the terror cell she’s infiltrated, he is sucked deep into the heart of an international conspiracy. Isolated and unsure who to trust, Miller falls back on his military training and is forced to take violent action to clean up the streets.

After serving in
Afghanistan, battle-scarred, demobbed paratrooper Miller (Toby Kebbell) returns home to the bleak, crappy housing estate and
the violent gang culture he joined the army to escape.
Alienated and alone, haunted by his
combat experience and suffering from symptoms of post-traumatic stress
disorder, Miller’s return to the hood brings him into conflict with local
gangsta Tyrone (Ashley Bashy Thomas)
who’s looking for someone with just Miller’s skillset. Unable to find a job, he drifts into
the employ of a shadowy government agency, run by sinister spooks Tony Curran and Brian Cox, who want him to keep tabs on a home-grown terrorist
cell. Increasingly drawn to
beautiful informant Alanya (Adi Bielski)
who may have gone native in the terror cell she’s infiltrated, he is sucked
deep into the heart of an international conspiracy. Isolated and unsure who to trust, Miller falls back on his
military training and is forced to take violent action to clean up the
streets.

Camouflaging itself
in the cloak of Social realism and paying lip service to the problems faced by
combat veterans re-entering civilian life and re-integrating into a society
that neither understands nor values their experiences, The Veteran, at its heart, is just a damn good vigilante thriller
with a bonkers, breathless climactic running gun battle that sees our hero take
to the streets with an assault rifle to wage war on the local drug gang.

So good as the
mentally fragile brother in Dead Man’s Shoes, Toby Kebbell here steps into Paddy Considine role of distressed
war veteran, delivering an intense, complex performance as Miller, a brooding
human time-bomb just looking for a direction to explode in. Displaying a raw physicality during the
film’s bruising fight scenes, his cool air of detachment during the film’s
violent climax as he strolls through the streets of the estate, almost casually
gunning down the bad guys, is truly chilling, cementing Kebbell’s status as
both an action man and an actor to watch.
He’s ably supported by Tony Curran’s amoral secret agent and Brian Cox
whose self-justifying speech about governments maintaining control by
fear-mongering and sleight-of-hand has never seemed so topical.

Unusually for a
British film, The Veteran‘s biggest
flaw isn’t lack of ambition but too much, trying to juggle too many plots. There’s the combat vet unable to cope
on civvy street strand, there’s the urban thriller storyline as our hero is
forced to take the law into his hands and clean up the streets and there’s the
shadowy, Spooks-style conspiracy thriller. Ultimately, The
Veteran
can’t do justice to them all and, like the UK itself, finds its
strength divided as it fights on too many fronts.

Tense, brutal
and efficient, The Veteran is an
entertaining urban thriller with a star-making performance from Toby Kebbell.

To Buy The Veteran On DVD Click Here Or On Blu-Ray Click Here

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

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