In David Mackenzie's Hallam Foe, the sprawling stone edifices of the skyline are transformed into something suggesting a geological landscape over which troubled teenager Hallam (Jamie Bell) roams with a sprightly, feral grace.When he glimpses the lovely, twentysomething Kate (Sophia Myles) in the street, his heart leaps and he cries to himself: "Mum!" And so begins a deeply suspect, Oedipal pursuit of his dead mother's doppelgänger, first as he peeps into Kate's flat from his clock-tower eyrie, then as he worms his way into her life and eventually her bed.Bell, the young star of Billy Elliot, brings an engaging emotional intensity to Hallam's character, as well as an impressive physical agility as he leaps over the vertiginous, windswept rooftops where he lives rough.In the agonized corner, we have the Dardenne boys of Belgium, and, facing them, those naughty Wachowski kids from Matrixland.Soon, you won’t be able to approach a studio without a blood relation in tow; look out for the long-lost Peregrine Eastwood and a delicate new project from Ang and Chuck Lee. Danny Pang and the rousingly named Oxide Pang are twins from Hong Kong, best known for their 1999 hit “Bangkok Dangerous.” This they have now remade for the English-speaking market, titling it, after a lengthy period of reflection, “Bangkok Dangerous.” The city is described in voice-over as “corrupt, dirty, and dense,” in contrast to the characters, who are uniformly fair-minded, well scrubbed, and partial to quantum mechanics. But for now he's in Edinburgh promoting Hallam Foe. At the end of August, he starts filming for Defiance, in which he stars alongside Daniel Craig.
To match that, he has four instructions for any aspiring killer: don’t ask questions, don’t take an interest in people outside the job, erase every trace of your presence, and get out when you can.Joe is an assassin by trade, but then, these days, who isn’t?Assassins are to the movies what plumbers are to ordinary life: they’re trained, they’re overpriced, they never call back, but sometimes they’re just what you need. Since starring in Billy Elliot in 2000, Bell has worked with Peter Jackson on King Kong (2005), Clint Eastwood on Flags of Our Fathers (2006) and Thomas Vinterberg on Dear Wendy (2005).Before I meet actress Sophia Myles, I've watched her screen debut in the new series of Spooks, which goes out on Monday. Although Bell cites Hallam Foe as one of his proudest roles, he appears to be agitated, bored even, when discussing it.