An Irish thriller with some flaws but still more watchable than a lot of what ends up in cinemas, 'Anton' begins in 1974 as one young man finds himself sucked into the Troubles. Anton (Fox) comes back to his Cavan home after years at sea to settle down with his wife Maria (Way) on the family farm. He immediately becomes outraged at events in the North and together with friend Brendan (Smith) decides to do something. Watching them is Special Branch detective Lynch (McSorley), a man whose methods include targeting members of Anton's family.

Written by its star Fox, 'Anton' is one of those cases of watching a film and seeing a better one trying to get out. On the plus side, the cinematography - like a faded photograph - is excellent, McSorley steals the show as the obsessed detective and the era is well captured.

The film's greatest failing is that it too often gets rushed and fast-moving mixed up. Fox tries to cram far too much into the story and asks the audience to make too many jumps with him. Scenes fly by in a bid to fit everything in when you feel that a slower approach would've made the film more powerful. You can't fault the ambition on a budget of shooting a sequence in Paris but it's too short to be effective and there was no need for the story to move from the Border.

It would be good to see Fox and director Cantwell go on to bigger and better things; consider this part of the learning curve.

Harry Guerin