Ben Oliver

Banner image for Filth


Sometimes it takes a wrongdoer to show you when you are doing wrong.
06 December 2018

A Scottish detective (James McAvoy) gets assigned to a murder case, but his world starts to fall apart the more cocaine he takes. Spoiler alert, it’s a fuckload of cocaine.

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call Edinburgh. McAvoy is a Scottish Nic Cage, jump cutting through the streets at a breakneck pace, not always aware of where he is or even who he is. One minute he’s smashing down doors, the next he’s naked in Hamburg with his accountant.

Filth paints such a grimy, debauched picture of the world that one can’t help but laugh. McAvoy is clearly enjoying himself, and for the most part the screenplay is there just to showcase how unhinged he can get. This is by no means a bad thing.

Then in the final third as our protagonist loses sight of reality things begin to come into focus for the audience. The jokes melt away, leaving us with a bleak but poignant ending.

A bad trip for sure, but I’m glad we came along for the ride.