All Things To All Men
With a twisty plot involving dodgy diamonds, drug deals and double crosses galore, All Things to All Men strains hard to deliver on a suspenseful setup. As its cast of bent coppers, crooked businessmen and furtive thieves try to outmanoeuvre one another, questions amass: what does Rufus Sewell’s shifty detective want with taciturn safecracker Riley (Toby Stephens)? How is crime lord Joseph Corso (Gabriel Byrne) involved? And, most mysterious of all, how did such a poor script manage to attract the involvement of such a respectable cast?
While the first two puzzles duly receive answers, the latter stays unsolved, with gaffe after gaffe chipping away at the film’s superficial slickness. Barely fleshed-out characters spout cliché-steeped dialogue; London landmarks are shoehorned into shot with absurd frequency; and sections of the story spark unflattering déjà vu – most notably when a plot point is seemingly filched wholesale from LA Confidential. Only Sewell escapes the affair unscathed, his wired performance in the final act rewarding those who stick around that long. [Chris Buckle]