High-living London gangster Harold Shand (Hoskins) is the rough-and-tumble king of the waterfront, and life is about to get a lot sweeter once a mob-financed real estate deal goes through. But after a bomb goes off in his Rolls Royce on Good Friday, nearly killing his mum, and another flattens one of his pubs, its apparent that someone wants him dead, news that makes his big American investor Charlie (Constantine) more than a little nervous.
Before Hoskins became a household name for his comedic turn in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?", he starred in this tightly wound British crime thriller about a dockyard capo whose life turns to muck one Easter weekend after a string of mysterious bombings. As he barrels through London looking for clues to identify his would-be assassin, the East End-accented Hoskins projects both meat-hook menace and con-man charm — whichever mode the situation requires. Soon to be famous herself, Helen Mirren is fun to watch in a very early role as Shand's classy, intelligent mistress. Even future Bond man Pierce Brosnan pops up in a minor role as a gay hitman. A blunt, ferocious take on the Cockney crime genre.