‘Citizen Gangster’ is the first feature film project from up-and-coming director Nathan Morlando. The film is based on the true story of Edwin Boyd, played wonderfully in the film by Scott Speedman of ‘Underworld’ fame. For those unfamiliar with Edwin Boyd, he is a man who made a name for himself as Toronto’s most famous criminal in the post-WWII era.
When he returned home from World War II, Boyd wanted nothing more than to provide a comfortable life for his family. Sadly, that was not in the cards for the wounded veteran who would be driven to make several life altering decisions as a result. When his dreams of Hollywood stardom started to evaporate, from a failed meeting with Lorne Green, he finds himself quickly becoming a desperate man.
Finding himself pushed to his limits, the former soldier finds himself donning a greasepaint mask, wielding a gun and pulling his first armed robbery to bankroll the life he feels his family deserves. It doesn’t take long for his small-time heists to transform into a full-time career. With each passing day, Boyd finds himself drawn deeper into the underworld. Boyd would go on to find himself becoming a career criminal, a man on the run and one who is always striving to obtain his own unreachable dream.
‘Citizen Gangster’ is a solid film with a great story arc which serves as a terrific jumping off point for these talented actors to spread their wings. Scott Speedman, who in my opinion is criminally underused in Hollywood, brings the character of Boyd to life with his charisma and solid range of emotion. His depth and range apparent only minutes into the film. It is the journey of Boyd from ordinary man to media darling to legendary folk hero is what makes this film so intriguing. In the hands of a less capable leading man, it is a performance that could have easily fallen flat. The same can be said for the supporting cast with features Kelly Reilly as Boyd’s wife, Kevin Durand as career criminal Lenny jackson and Brian Cox as Boyd’s disapproving policeman father. Nathan Morlando certainly has shown he is more than capable behind the camera and his future exploits will definitely garner him more critical attention.
The verdict: A solid story with great acting that is definitely worth your hard earned cash for an upcoming viewing!
‘Citizen Gangster’ opens in theaters and will be available via VOD on April 27, 2012!