Star Rating:


Actors: Ewan McGregor, Matthew Macfayden

Release Date: Wednesday 30th November 2016

Running time: UK (16) minutes

Incendiary tries to cover so much ground - it attempts to be a romantic drama thriller and an exploration in survivor's guilt - it fails to properly address all the elements it brings up. Michelle Williams plays unnamed young mother trapped in a loveless marriage with a twitchy bomb disposal expert (maybe his job or that he's an Arsenal fan explains his uneasiness). Williams loves nothing more than escaping the high-rise flats she lives on and going to the beach with her son (Johnston) or flirting with middle class journalist Jasper (McGregor), with whom she dives into a seedy affair. One afternoon, while her husband and son are at an Arsenal game and Williams and McGregor indulging themselves in a little afternoon delight, a bomb explodes at The Emirates Stadium, killing her family. What follows is Williams's struggle to come to terms with it all. Adapted from Chris Cleave's novel, Incendiary boasts a lovely set-up but peaks far too early, and decent scenes are few and far between from then on. Too many subplots appear and disappear without any follow through: Williams's search for the son of one of the bombers; the wooing by Macfadyen's terrorist expert; and McGregor's love interest all come to nought. Director Maguire (Bridget Jones's Diary) hurries through some plot points when she was best advised to explore them, and takes her sweet time exploring others when none was needed. It's all a bit of a mess, really; with the tone perpetually changing, it's like watching an entirely different film every twenty minutes. None of this is Michelle Williams's fault, however. Slimmed down and barely recognisable, Williams belies those who think her nothing more of a TV actor chancing her arm in film. There's a good movie in here somewhere and the points Maguire makes needs to be addressed, but Incendiary fails to pull it off.