Bull (2021)

A decade after disappearing, a man comes home to get revenge on those who wronged him. 

Written and directed by Paul Andrew Williams, Bull is a very a British action-revenge film in setting and in tone and not a slasher even though the description above and those found online feel very much that way. The film at hand here is one that is on the dark side with family issues, gangster-type issues, and some serious betrayals. The film builds on these and makes it the right moment for the titular character to show back up and wreak havoc on those who left him for dead. The film here is well-written and directed in manner that feels very much like its own thing. The film is very much specific to the UK and gives a vibe that feels like it could not if it were set in the US. There is humor in there, just a little, and it is dark, very dark. There’s a bunch of violence and it’s delivered without flinching. It’s a dark and violent script brought to the screen just the right way. 

Starring in the film is a cast that takes their work to heart and turn in good performances. The two coming up on top are David Hayman as Norm and Neil Maskell as Bull. The two of them go all out and are downright scary in their convictions. They give the film weight and make it something that the viewer can really sink their teeth into so to speak. Hayman in particular is just so brutal and unnerving in his interpretation of Norm as a man ready to do anything to get to his end. He plays this part with conviction and talent, showing that evil does something live in human form. Maskell for his part shows the necessary evil some men need to get to for them to be able to come to peace with what has happened to them. Both show men who must go quite far to reach their goals and are not afraid to do by way of two performances that are strong and very much assured. 

The film has a look to itself that fits with the story and the settings. These are not postcards images and that is how it should be. The cinematography work by Ben Chads and Vanessa Whyte shows that they understood the film and the images it needed. The fact that their work is flawless with one another’s shows great talent and capacity to adapting to what a film and team needs. The cinematography is on point here and shows it is possible to have 2 people with distinct styles come together and create a film with a cohesive look and feel to it. 

Bull is a revenge film as most would expect, a bit brutal, a bit surprising at times, and with a cast made of up believable people playing parts that create a violent dynamic that works quite well here. This is not about cool moves, cute outfits, or even great cars, this one is all about the revenge and how violence begets violence. 

BULL will be in theaters on April 1st, and On Demand and Digital on April 5th.