Most films about the notorious twins cover their rise and fall, The Krays: Dead Man Walking solely focuses on a 12 day period in December 1966 in relation to the escape from Dartmoor prison of Frank “The Mad Axeman” Mitchell, a giant of a man with great physical strength and an even shorter fuse.
Once holed up in a dingy London flat, Mitchell (Josh Myers) starts to exhibit the kind of behaviour that saw him sentenced in the first place. Unable to trust or control him, the twins decide that they will give Mitchell a present in the form of a club hostess called Lisa (Eastender’s Rita Simon’s) to keep him “busy”. As Mitchell’s behaviour intensifies, the twins are left with only one bloody decision.
The latest in the Kray’s cannon of films is refreshing in that it solely focuses on just one event in the twin’s life with everything else on the periphery; the audience glimpses the breakdown of Reggie’s marriage to Francis, Lord Boothby’s “friendship” with Ronnie and the dogged detective Nipper Read (played by Leslie Grantham in his last role) while never shying away from the maniacal Mitchell and his penchant for violence. Marc Pickering and Nathan John Carter who play Reggie and Ronnie respectively portray the twins well, Carter, who has been in 2 recent Kray films in supporting roles has now found himself propelled into the shoes of Ronnie and relishes every second.
The film is lean at just 75 minutes but never outstays it’s welcome and leaves you wanting more. For me the only thing that lets the film down is the inclusion of a miscast Darren Day in a throwaway role. Day just doesn’t manage to convince, even with limited screen time.
But minor quibble aside like the twins themselves, this smart, gritty, violent and stylish thriller never outstays its welcome and leaves a lasting impression. Smart, gritty and stylish… The Krays: Dead Man Walking is a vicious and visceral treat
Reviewed by Matt Duddy
The Krays: Dead Man Walking is released on DVD, BluRay and VOD on the xxxxx 2018