Extra Cinema: Filth (18)

editorial image

Starring: James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent, Imogen Poots, Jamie Bell

Director: John S Baird

FILTH mixes a heady cocktail of sex, drugs and wanton violence then spikes the noxious brew with a generous dash of racism and homophobia.

Glasgow’s golden boy James McAvoy takes the sheen off his nice-guy screen image as misanthropic schemer, DS Bruce Robertson, who lords over his colleagues and shamelessly sucks up to his superior, chief inspector Bob Toal (John Sessions).

When Toal dangles a promotion in front of Bruce, the DS ruthlessly targets his five rivals — Peter Inglis (Emun Elliott), Amanda Drummond (Imogen Poots), Dougie Gillman (Brian McCardie), Ray Lennox (Jamie Bell) and Gus Bain (Gary Lewis) — by exploiting their insecurities.

Unfortunately, Bruce’s mental state is precarious and when his plans suffer a setback, his world whirls out of control. The only glimmer of hope is a young widow, Mary (Joanne Froggatt), whose innate kindness might not be enough to drag Bruce back from the abyss.

Filth is anchored by an all-guns-blazing central turn from McAvoy, who has gained a few pounds for the role and looks sweaty and exhausted by the gloomy closing frames. He drops his kecks for almost every female co-star then suffers nightmarish visions involving a psychiatrist Dr Rossi (Jim Broadbent) with a freakishly large forehead. Supporting performances are equally colourful,plus Starsky & Hutch star David Soul enjoys a hallucinogenic cameo.

Rating: 8/10