Clearskin film review: Over-reaching British movie fails on many levels


Over-reaching British movie fails on many levels

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UPDATED:

01:48 GMT, 9 March 2012

Clearskin (15)

Verdict: Spotty

This over-ambitious British offering tries to spin so many plates in the air that it ends up dropping them all.

First, it tries to be a violent crime thriller about a tough guy (a convincing Sean Bean) tracking down terrorists.

Clearskin is about a secret service agent who goes undercover to find a terrorist

Clearskin is about a secret service agent who goes undercover to find a terrorist

Then, through long and ill-judged flashbacks, it tries to involve us in the politics of a ‘cleanskin’ – a terrorist unknown to the security forces.

This part of the film destroys all momentum and is laboured, cliched and poorly written.

Even less successfully, the film tries to be a conspiracy thriller about a preposterous plot by the British Establishment.

The character who’s most fun is an Islamic cleric bent on revolution, played with enjoyable oiliness by Peter Polycarpou, though I couldn’t help thinking his faith would have demanded more facial hair and less designer stubble.