Film review: The Legend of Barney Thomson

The Legend of Barney Thomson
The Legend of Barney Thomson
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  • Genre: Comedy
  • Certificate: 15
  • Running time: 96mins
  • Star rating: 9/10

Barney the barber’s in for a very close shave

Acclaimed actor Robert Carlyle makes his feature film directorial debut with this macabre black comedy set on the mean streets of Glasgow.

Barney (Carlyle) is one of the worst barbers in Scotland. He has neither charm nor patter and is the butt of cruel jibes from the hairdressing and barbering community.

One seemingly mundane day, Barney’s temper gets the better of him and he accidentally kills his boss with a pair of his trusty scissors.

His ham-fisted efforts to cover up the crime bring Barney to the attention of testosterone-driven police officer, Detective Inspector Holdall (Ray Winstone).

He is hunting a serial killer, who is abducting young men then – ghoulishly – severing a body part, which is posted to the victim’s relatives.

Holdall is certain that Barney is this elusive killer and the detective sets about gathering evidence to put the incompetent barber behind bars.

As the net closes in around Barney, he turns to his domineering mother, Cemolina (Emma Thompson), for help to cling on to what remains of his tattered sanity.