In an impressive feature debut, Canadian writer-director Nathan Morlando makes a folk hero of flamboyant Toronto outlaw Edwin Boyd, leader of the legendary Boyd Gang. After returning from a tour of duty in the Second World War, Boyd makes a frustrated attempt to make his career as an actor, and finds a more lucrative role robbing banks, using heavy make-up to create a dashing alter-ego. (If only he’d got that job with the Lorne Greene School of Broadcasting, he might have become a national treasure instead of a public enemy.) The film follows Boyd’s seven-year rampage of heists and jailbreaks that ended with his final capture in 1952. Hard to believe this sort of thing went on it Toronto the Good. In a blistering performance, Speedman creates a complex, charismatic portrait of a sympathetic psycho who lives a double life. He’s flanked by a strong cast that includes Kelly Reilly as his long-suffering wife, Brian Cox as his policeman father, and Brendan Fletcher and Kevin Durand as accomplices. Morlando lets the story fly with kinetic energy and style. The machine-gun bursts of garage rock that turn the robberies into music videos are jarringly anachronistic, yet true to the nervy spirit that fuels this hellbent saga.
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