A corrupt, mentally ill cop struggles to solve a murder case and
secure a promotion while his entire life deteriorates around him.
Written and Directed by Jon S. Baird
Starring James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Imogen Poots, Jim Broadbent, Brian McCardie, Emun Elliott, Gary Lewis,
John Sessions, Shauna Macdonald, Kate Dickie
Based on the novel by Irvine Welsh
Filth is a bizarre Scottish crime drama from the author of Trainspotting, and similarly, it deals with drug addiction in Scotland with comedic overtones. This time, however, our hero is a misanthropic, misogynistic, racist, junkie cop with a God complex who spends the entire movie wrecking his coworker's lives and screwing their wives. If he wasn't played by James McAvoy, there'd be nothing to endear him to the audience. It's McAvoy ultimately who makes this movie worth watching and even enjoyable, even though iMDB has it listed as a comedy, and it is a far cry from comedy.
McAvoy played Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson, a depraved a**hole of a cop who is obsessed with getting a promotion to Inspector, even if it means taking out the competition. As the film progresses, we learn that Bruce has some serious mental problems and isn't all there. His wife and daughter have left him and he's struggling with the day-to-day. It's actually kind of sad, but the character never wavers from his determination to be a complete d**k to everyone around him. But you get glimpses of humanity from time to time that keep us reminded that he's still our hero. McAvoy delivers a fantastic performance.
Filth juggles a lot of different threads that mostly come together by the film's end, which is awfully depressing. I enjoyed the film far more than I expected, thanks to the uproarious first half and the fantastic ensemble. It doesn't quite live up to the film everyone will inevitable compare it to, Trainspotting, but it still is worthy of a watch for the performances and the decent, if not familiar, story.