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Cop drama Hyena is no laughing matter

23/03/2016

Eagle Entertainment will release the British crime saga Hyena on Blu-ray and DVD. The film directed by Gerard Johnson will be released May 18.

"Johnson has crafted a taut and nightmarish descent into hell," writes Adam Lowes in Cinevue. Here's why: Peter Ferdinando is cast as Michael an undercover cop who heads up a special police task force responsible for taking down a dangerous Eastern European drug trafficking ring. His foot soldiers in this case are police officers and they soon prove to be as excessive, violent and immoral as the criminals.

Hauls of drugs are pilfered for leveraging witnesses, blackmailing enemies and personal consumption. When Michael is threatened with exposure he is trust into the middle of a turf war between the Turks and Albanians. But as he infiltrates the Albanian group he unknowingly induces the sale of a woman he cares about into prostitution. His efforts to save her, however, threaten to jeopardise the operation.

Moody, measured and heavy on style, Hyena evokes old school gangster classics such as Get Carter and more contemporary neo-noir like Pusher. The music score from UK new wave legends The The enhances the brooding atmosphere.

"The graphic sex and violence never feels gratuitous, and there's something interesting in the way he deliberately denies his characters and the viewers any reprieve," writes Martin Tsai in the Los Angeles Times.

"Hyena may be grim, but it's also grimly engrossing in a way that gets under the skin," notes Total Film. Elliott Noble writing for Sky Movies observes, "Some crime sagas only give London's underbelly a tickle. Hyena scratches 'til it bleeds."

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