Redundant remake of Michael Caine classic
“What’s it all about?” It’s about transposing Bill Naughton’s morality tale of an upwardly mobile shagaround in swinging ’60s London to skinny latte 21st century Manhattan. It’s about casting Jude Law in the role that provided Caine with his career breakthrough in 1966. It’s about Hollywood trying to revamp one of the greats and fucking it up, yet again. In its day, Alfie worked as a satirical comedy exposing the pursuit of the post-war ‘permissive society’ as a hollow, misogynous sham. Forty years later, its central message?that commitment-fearing blokes who think women are just “face, boobs and bum” are inadequate pond scum who’ll end their days weeping over their Viagra?lacks any revelatory clout, even as a post-’90s lad critique. Law is too posh and pretty to earn our sympathy, while the necessary brutality of Naughton’s play (notably its infamous abortion scene) is also neutered amid the Sex And The City makeover. And sickly new MOR tunes from Mick Jagger are no substitute for Sonny Rollins. Pointless.