TIFF 2014: Hyena Review



“This isn’t the 80s,” says Michael Logan’s superior, his contemporary way of groaning, “you’re a loose cannon, Logan, but damn it you get the job done.” Logan (A Field in England’s Peter Ferdinando), does get a job done, he gets a lot of people busted, but he doesn’t do it with any good intentions.

Logan is a British vice cop, corrupt to the brim of his checkered hat, trying to play every field. He’ll align himself with gangs to get an authorized drop on their rivals, but getting a cut of the profits and goods are a bigger motivation. An expensive investment into one of his source’s trade routes across Europe gets hijacked by two new players, an aggressive pair of Albanian brothers. Logan is then squeezed from either end, reassigned to a task force assembled to deal with the very brothers he’s now trying to negotiate with.


Hyena doesn’t do anything that a crime drama hasn’t done before, partly because you can sniff out the movies it aspires to be: the coal heart of Bad Lieutenant, and the attempt to be a vessel for a soundtrack like Drive. It’s hard to feel anything for Logan, good or bad. The film just ushers you from plot point to plot point. Despite being a diplomatic busybody he can’t seem to tell when he’s being played. One redeeming quality is his evasiveness to killing, Logan honestly sees murder as an absolute last resort, and whenever a death surrounds him it hovers over him like a bleak cloud.

For all its gritty hope, Hyena doesn’t make a great case. It’s a compilation of bad cop, awful person, without much to convict them with clichés with really pointless violence. (Zack Kotzer)


Tuesday, September 9th, 9:00pm, Scotiabank 12

Friday, September 12th, 12:00pm, Bloor Hot Docs Cinema

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