Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley make a dynamite pairing in London Boulevard, the uneven but compelling directorial debut of acclaimed screenwriter William Monahan.
Farrell plays an ex-con with a soft heart who tries to go straight by working as a fix-it guy. That's how he pairs with Knightley's character, a somewhat fragile starlet. Farrell's past has a way of catching up with them, plunging the pair into more than they bargained for. Both leads stay squarely in their comfort zones, with Farrell offering his brash cool while Knightley doesn't find much in the character to ignite palpable passion. Still, their chemistry blends well together, making scenes that would otherwise be dull start to sizzle.
The hardscrabble writing and gritty direction keep the film moving at a brisk pace. The plot is filled with twists and turns and never bores. The whole enterprise feels like a been-there, done that affair though.