We Still Kill the Old Way is a terrible film. It’s a piece of trash. The only redeeming element is that this movie didn’t suck harder. Everything from the premise to the humor is both inane and lackluster.
Frankly, I refuse even to use the names of the actors or look up anything about this film. This isn’t a review, it’s a thousand-word complaint. In fact, I thought about revising this but decided against it, because fuck this movie.
The poster says more about this film than it should. Four decrepit old men. The centerpiece of the story, Richie Archer, stares right into the viewer with a vague look of meaning which covers half the breadth of his not considerable acting skills for the duration of the film. He looks like someone who thinks he’s way more attractive and charming than he actually is. Two of his compatriots have already been lost to Alzheimer’s and can’t understand or remember where they are or what they’re doing. The fourth compatriot looks as if he’s about to lay into his grandkids who he just caught with a joint. None of them look tough. For that matter, the thugs on the bottom half don’t look tough either. Aaron, the kid in the front, approaches it but is never legitimately intimidating, in part because his idea of looking intimidating is scrunching his upper lip over his teeth like he is in this poster. He and his gang sometimes go around in those masks which could have turned this movie into a fairly interesting thriller, except that they look stupid and aren’t used effectively. Everyone else on the bottom exudes ham. Oh, and the quote at the top about the film hitting you like a pair of brass knuckles? That’s a corny and wrong reference to the film itself.
The plot is really, really basic and more or less sounds like a rich old white man version of the Charles Bronson classic Death Wish. Richie Archer is a retired gangster living in good old Hispania with his daughter (who you think is his callgirl at first). He returns to England when his brother tries to interrupt a gang-rape on a teenage girl. He puts out a black kid with a pair of brass knuckles (haw haw, that’s what this movie hits you like!) and then gets kicked to death by Aaron, gratuitous psychopath teen gang leader. Unfortunately, Aaron is the only thing that’s really gratuitous in this movie. This is a fucking revenge flick that doesn’t show you the violence.
If anything, what this movie does have is gratuitous hooliganry in the first ten to fifteen minutes, and that’s probably the closest thing to a real highlight there is. Although the hooligans here are probably highly indebted to better films like A Clockwork Orange, they’re also completely fucking boring for almost the entire film, with the only highlight being a baby being hung over the side of a building.
When Richie hears about his brother’s fatal stomping, he gets on a plane real quick and gets together his old gangster buddies. What follows is a bunch of senile old men automagically kidnapping far more able young men and then torturing them to death, before Richie has a fucking heart attack beating a teenager to death and the gang decides the best option is to lure the young gang into a shootout in a hospital. Of course, they win this incredibly public shootout in a hospital for some reason and the police let it slide because they were only stinky and senile old men defending themselves, after all. Early on in the film, we’re introduced to a subplot where Richie harasses the would-be rape victim in an effort to kill a bunch of teenaged hooligans.
I don’t think it’s possible to write a worse encounter than the one that happens here. He comes into her place of employment and then just brings it up, apropos of nothing, and when she says “I don’t understand,” he smiles at her and says “Oh, I think you do.” She turns around, and although this isn’t a very good or compelling actress you can clearly see that she is incredibly upset. So he follows her, drawing in and then letting out a breathy sigh.
Then he says “Now don’t play games with me, sweetheart.” Understandably, this worries the coworkers because, why is this creepy motherfucker in the store following you while you’re looking catatonic? Only for the best reasons, he assures the coworker, who apparently believes him and leaves them alone even though she never answered the question “Is everything alright Laura?” Approaching someone like this is, by the way, a really great way to make yourself look like a pervert.
He thinks he’s charming. There’s a sort of underlying sincerity in his attempts to be charming, a meaning to the expression that tells everyone he’s interacting with that yes, he really does think he’s that good looking. All in all, he comes off like he’s looking to drug her and then fuck her every single time they interact. And it’s pampered up with this weird attempt at friendly dry humor that misses the mark on every level, the hallmark of this film.
That, by the way, is one of the big problems with the entire movie. This guy’s brother just died horribly, and he can’t stop trying to crack wise with everyone he meets for even a second. The only time he isn’t cracking wise is when he punches some kid to death and has a heart attack, but the previous kidnap/torture has plenty of wisecracking, which was likely meant as dark humor but which really just made me pissed off.
I can’t stand to actually write about this piece of crap for long enough to argue that this film’s depictions of poor kids is really problematic, so let me just quote some IMDB reviews that were positive to show how the people who liked this film just used it to fulfill their fantasy of killing impoverished teenagers:
With the UK the way it is, being overrun by little chavs, this was the ultimate chav-culling film. a group of old school gangsters stand up to them and take them down the old way.
This was a case of Old v. Young, and both sides were played excellently. The old were very well represented, by both comic and serious actors (see their pedigree), and the young up and coming actors have already a good background in acting parts, which is why they were selected to play the parts they did.
All in all I give it 10 out of 10 because as much as I didn’t like the realism I respect that they put it in and did it so well, the characters are really likable (or hate-able depending on what side they’re on) and if you want to see the kind of mouthy little hooded scum that are ruining your town/street suffer you will be very satisfied.
This movie has a god damn 6/10 on IMDB and that’s a fucking tragedy.
Incidentally, this movie really wants to be Harry Brown, and may actually be a remake of a much older gangster flick with the same title that I really want to see, because realistically it can’t be as bad as this film.