Afforded a ‘blink and you’ve missed it’ cinema release earlier this year, The Veteran muscles its way onto DVD this month.

In many ways the more politically-minded cinematic sibling of the likes of Outlaw or Harry Brown, the hard-hitting flick looks at the difficulties often faced by infantry soldiers when they return to these shores from their respective tours of duty.

Playing the ‘veteran’ Miller is Toby Kebbell (RocknRolla), who turns in a performance that is all frustrated energy and explosive aggression.

Miller returns to his London home after serving in Afghanistan, only to find the UK is not the welcoming place he may have remembered.

Unable to find a job, and seeing his friends hassled by local hoodlums, Miller finds himself drafted in to work for some shadowy operatives who have him trailing a host of potential terrorism suspects.

On top of that, Kebbell’s character also finds himself in a running (verbal) battle with the estate gangs, bossed by the villainous Tyrone (Ashley Bashy Thomas).

The plot twists and turns, with Miller at times seemingly being set up from all angles.

And all this leads to a pretty downbeat climax which stopped this viewer in his tracks.

Unlike Outlaw or Harry Brown, which played their storylines as pretty straightforward vengeance flicks, The Veteran does try to do something different by adding the spin of terror cells and murky intelligence operations.

But the film is still heavy on the clichés, with the ‘good guy hitting back at the gangs’ angle pretty well-worn.

That is not to say the movie does not entertain though and the impressively handled climactic shootout (while erring on the wrong side of believability) is certainly thrilling.

Kebbell is on fine form, showing just the right balance of charm and menace to ensure you are fully behind him, while there is solid support from the likes of Brian Cox and Tony Curran.

Credit must also go to director Matthew Hope, in just his second directorial feature, for adding a pretty grim feel to proceedings that does help matters.

The Veteran is almost certain to pass into the ‘forgotten’ movie annals, but that does not mean it deserves to.

 

Extras: Behind the Scenes featurette, cast and crew interviews, trailer

 

Out now

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.