This is one “bull” you will not want to take by the horns as the titular character seeks revenge in this gritty and brutal British action film from a returning Paul Andrew Williams.
Ten years ago, Bull’s life had changed forever. A former enforcer, he was forced into exile by his father-in-law, notorious crime boss Norm, who tried to get him killed. Bull has returned from the ashes of his exile, and he has only thing in mind, revenge. In addition, he also plans to get his estranged son Aiden back from the clutches of Norm and his crew. As Bull begins his quest for revenge, his past is revealed.
Beginning as one of Norm’s best enforcers, Bull had fallen in love and married Norm’s daughter Gemma. As time goes on, Gemma delves into a downward spiral of heroin use and when Bull sees Gemma as an unfit mother to baby Aiden, he wants to make a better life for both he and his son. However, Norm remained loyal to Gemma and decided Bull must go. A burning caravan forced Bull to escape and begin his decade-long exile. Bull is determined to get his son and stop Norm once and for all.
Taking a decade off to focus primarily on television, this is a welcome return to film for Paul Andrew Williams. British films in which gangsters seek revenge and redemption are a delight to watch, especially when they involve flashbacks revealing the events that lead up to said revenge or redemption. 2019’s Avengement, starring Scott Adkins was an excellent example of that genre as we see the lead go through both an emotional and physical change as he seeks revenge against his brother.
For this film, Neil Maskell shines in the role of the titular Bull, who like Scott’s Cain seeks revenge against someone in the “family” dynamic. In this case, it’s his father-in-law Norm, played with a combination of sheer intensity and at times subletly, by David Hayman. What’s very intriguing about this dynamic is that the relationship between Norm and Bull transitions from boss/enforcer to man/father-in-law when Bull marries Norm’s daughter Gemma, played by Lois Brabin-Platt. The flashbacks, spread sporadically throughout the film, reveals the events little by little and we get to see the turn of events where Gemma resorts to using heroin and going down a dangerous spiral in which she takes things out on both Bull and their son.
It is when Norm learns Bull wants to leave Gemma and bring Aiden with him that things take a turn for the worse and becomes the catalyst for the core plot of the film. And the level of violence in the film is manic, brutal, and at times, gory. Stabbings, limbs and digits are amputated, and plenty more are the crux of the action. One highlight includes a thug getting his arm chopped off then catharized on a nob. It is just an insane moment that will cause jaws to drop. The finale is quite well, a bit bittersweet and takes away the core of the film, but still brings a sense of predictability.
Bull is an excellent amped-up British gangster revenge film with Neil Maskell and David Hayman churning out excellent performances in the titular role and his father-in-law/former boss. The action is super amped up full of the crimson. If you like Avengement, you will love Bull.
WFG RATING: A-
Saban Films presents a Giant Productions/Tea Shop Productions in association with Signature Entertainment and Particular Crowd. Director: Paul Andrew Williams. Producers: Leonora Darby, Sarah Gabriel, Marc Goldberg, Mark Lane, and Dominic Tighe. Writer: Paul Andrew Williams. Cinematography: Bed Chads and Vanessa Whyte. Editing: James Taylor.
Cast: Neil Maskell, David Hayman, Lois Brabin-Platt, Henri Charles, Laura McAlpine, Tamzin Outhwaite, Ajay Chhabra, David Constant, Kevin Harvey, David Nellist, Jason Milligan.
The film will be released in select theaters on April 1 and On Demand and Digital on April 5.