Route Irish

"Good"

Route Irish Review


After the relative whimsy of Looking for Eric, Loach is back in angry political mode for this gritty revenge thriller set around the war in Iraq. It starts out extremely well, but gets rather overwrought in the final act.

Fergus (Womack) is a hotheaded ex-SAS officer who can't come to terms with the death of his best friend Frankie (Bishop in flashbacks), who was working in Iraq for a private contractor. Determined to get to the truth of what happened on Route Irish, the road from Baghdad airport to the Green Zone, he teams up with Frankie's widow (Lowe) and gets in touch with his old pals in Iraq. And what he discovers is a conspiracy of torture and murder that private companies seem able to get away with.

So far so good, and the film is sharply centred on the human side of the story, letting us vividly see the injustices suffered by innocent Iraqis at the hands of trigger-happy invaders. It's an approach that catches us off guard after more Western-centric war movies, and it forces us to consider who the good guys are. Or if there are any good guys.

The problems start with a series of clunky plot points that strain credibility.

Fergus has always been driven by his rage, but now everyone is screaming at each other while Fergus launches a ruthless vengeance mission against one of Frankie's colleagues (Williams), who's a pretty nasty piece of work himself.

This leaves us with no one we care about, even though the cast adeptly portrays these hyper-emotional people. Womack's fearsome intensity holds the film together, while Lowe is solid in a role that's more complicated role than we expect. But their friendship seems tentative at best, and a brief romantic spark never develops.

In the end the political element of the story is submerged in the carnage. Even the torture theme becomes merely another tool of vengeance in one particular gruelling scene. The script becomes increasingly obvious and heavy-handed, to the point where we're unable to engage with the characters on any level. We might be glad the film has reminded us of the human cost of this messy conflict, but they kind of get lost in the shuffle.



Route Irish

Facts and Figures

Genre: Dramas

Run time: 109 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 16th March 2011

Distributed by: Diaphana

Production compaines: Sixteen Films, Why Not Productions, Wild Bunch

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Fresh: 20 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Rebecca O'Brien

Starring: as Fergus, as Frankie, Trevor Williams as Nelson, as Walker, Jack Fortune as Haynes, Talib Hamafraj as Harim, Jamie Michie as Jamie, Stephen Lord as Stephen, as Rachel

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.