The Front Line
African refugee Joe Yumba (Ebouaney) arrives in Ireland and lands a job as a security guard in a bank as he waits for his wife and son to join him. Just as the family settle down to life in Dublin, Joe's world gets turned upside down when he is picked up on the street by a ruthless gang led by Eddie Gilroy (Frain).Knowing he works in a bank, Eddie forces Joe to be an inside man, and since the gang have Joe's wife and son kidnapped, he has no choice but to carry out the robbery. But Joe hides a dark past in Africa and knows a thing or two about handling people like Eddie Gilroy. From the off, The Front Line sets its stall out in its attempt to do something different in the lacklustre pantheon that is Irish cinema. Ambitious and daring in its attempt to show the dark side of a refugee's life without once making any sweeping generalisations, Gleeson sets the story up quickly and shows how alone in a strange land these people are - and the fact that they have no one to trust if they run into any trouble. Once that's over, he then lets it play out like a hard-edged underworld thriller with a twist. The problem is, everything happens a little too quickly and Gleeson might have slowed things down to build characters and relationships rather than show them in flashback later on, when it's too late, and we've already decided if we like or dislike those involved. Clunky in places and a little melodramatic in others, Gleeson still does a decent job on the obviously limited budget he was allocated. The performances all do the job asked; Ebouaney and his gangster buddy Kae-Kazim, although believable, are a little heavy-handed, yet stand out from their Irish counterparts; Frain and Pure Mule's Garret Lombard are decent, but have too little to do.
The opinions expressed here are those of the viewer and do not reflect those of Entertainment.ie. Entertainment.ie accepts no responsibility, legal or otherwise, for their accuracy of content. Please contact us to report abusive content