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CRITIC REVIEWS

Is ‘Harry Brown’ the vigilante film we’ve been waiting for?

Some actors project strength and vitality on screen – think Sylvester Stallone, Clint Eastwood and Bruce Willis. Even if their off-screen personas are light years removed from the roles they play you still wouldn’t wanna mess with them. That isn’t the case with Michael Caine. Or, rather, Sir Michael Caine. But the 70-something actor’s latest film, “Harry Brown,” casts him as a vigilante demanding justice in his crime-soaked town. Few actors are good enough to pull off such a role in their golden years. Here’s betting Caine is the exception. “Harry Brown,” hitting U.S. theaters April 30 after an overseas run, follows an old man (Caine) seeking justice after his best pal gets killed by local thugs. Let’s discuss Caine’s classic hairless look. I don’t mean completely bald, but he has never done a movie with facial hair. That’s just not his style to search out the  best beard trimmer… He seems to enjoy rocking the scruff-less look throughout this entire career, even in a movie called “Harry Brown. We have to give it to him though, not many actors can pull this off in EVERY move, but Michael Caine does it well! The vigilante genre is rife with preposterous features, and it’s rare for filmmakers to treat the subject with care. Even “The Brave One,” despite the best intentions, couldn’t evolve beyond its pulp roots. Film critics make things worse, gnashing their teeth over the fact that audiences might – gulp – be rooting for the vigilante to win the day. Meanwhile, audiences respond time and again to the cathartic thrill of seeing the wicked get their due desserts.They didn’t make four “Death Wish” films for nothing.