Canadian d.p. Paul Sarossy ("Exotica," "The Sweet Hereafter," "X-Men") makes an in-between helming bow with "Mr In-Between," a semi-existential portrait of a professional killer who loses his focus. Unevenly acted and scripted -- although it scores some good moments -- pic has something going for it but not enough to make much of a theatrical impact.

Canadian d.p. Paul Sarossy (“Exotica,” “The Sweet Hereafter,” “X-Men”) makes an in-between helming bow with “Mr In-Between,” a semi-existential portrait of a professional killer who loses his focus when he meets a happily married friend from school days. Unevenly acted and scripted — although it scores some good moments when the pieces come together with cool precision — pic has something going for it but not enough to make much of a theatrical impact.

Jon Bennett (Andrew Howard) calmly slices up a victim in a nondescript London house while making sure his hair is still neat. His minimalist, solo life, as a hitman for a drug addicted, gentlemanly gangster (David Calder, ripe), is thrown for a loop when he bumps into ordinary Andy (Andrew Tiernan, OK) and his wife, Cathy (Geraldine O’Rawe, good), whom he used to fancy. When Andy dies in an “accident,” Jon takes it upon himself to mete out justice. Howard looks the main part but doesn’t bring much more to the character and the script, from a novel by Neil Cross, too often wavers between the generic and the self-conscious. Film looks good, on a budget.

Mr In-Between

U.K.

Production

A Great British Films and Phantom Pictures/Spice Factory production, in association with Enterprise Films. (International sales: Fusion Intl. Sales, Studio City, Calif.) Produced by Andreas Bajohra, Yvonne Michael, Bob Portal, Michael Lionello Cowan, Jason Piette. Executive producers, David Rogers, Alex Marshall, Christoph Daub. Directed by Paul Sarossy. Screenplay, Peter Waddington, based on the novel by Neil Cross.

Crew

Camera (color; Deluxe prints), Haris Zambarloukos; editor, Eddie Hamilton; music, Jennie Muskett; music supervisor, Ann Marie Shields; production designer, Matthew Davies; costume designer, Joanna Eatwell. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Discovery), Sept. 7, 2001. Running time: 97 MIN.

With

Andrew Howard, Geraldine O'Rawe, Andrew Tiernan, Mark Benton, Saeed Jaffrey, Clive Russell, David Calder.
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