REVIEW: ‘Gangs of London’ Season 2 Raises the Bar in Spectacular Fashion

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Gangs of London Season 2 - But Why Tho

The sheer volume of movies and TV series that exist in the modern age is sometimes quite staggering to comprehend, and trying to keep up with new content requires dedication. It’s no wonder specific projects are slipping between the couch cushions as viewers attempt to stay current on the best stories around, which is why it might surprise you that I’m about to sell you on yet another streaming service for one reason alone: Gangs of London Season 2. So make sure you’re to sign up for AMC+ because you’re not going to want to miss out on this one.

While the show has been a hit in the UK, it has yet to hit that peak viewership internationally that it deserves. Created by Gareth Evans, and Matt Flannery the story documents the death of the crime kingpin of London as his sons and family scramble to solve his murder and keep the other families in line. A thrilling and intense series filled with some of the BEST fight choreography, and cinematography to date. A year has passed since Finn Wallace’s death and the explosive events of Season 1 as Elliot finds himself on the wrong side of the investors, and Asif demands full cooperation from the family organizations of London.

I can’t sing the praises of this series enough, Gangs of London is the epitome of a prime-time series where every episode is as captivating as the last. I typically take the stance that very few shows in the modern era can handle a weekly episodic distribution model. They take far too long to build up to the meat of the story and instead they opt for building to a dramatic one-off event that sometimes leaves you wanting more. Yet what Evans and Flannery have created here is a cornucopia of plots per episode that is overflowing with action and intrigue for us to dine on.

What makes this show so worthy of such praise is the welcomed nuance of how Evans and Flannery utilize violence, and fight choreography to tell the overall plot. These are criminal enterprises with an accumulated reach to cover the entirety of London and have been in existence for decades. The very inherent nature of the show is tethered to its violence and to shy away from that would only do a disservice to the dangerous element of the characters, and the situation itself. However, this is not a show that leans into gratuitous violence for the sake of it. Rather there’s an intimate handling of the fight choreography that grabs your full attention and has you invested in the outcome. It’s also so creative. No one fight is the same as the last, and each weapon is rarely used twice in the same manner, so every violent sequence has its own stamp of uniqueness.

I found myself surprised by the number of times I audibly gasped out loud, grimaced, held my breath, and clenched my teeth. Evans has a solid history of handling violence in a very distinct fashion and it’s quite captivating. You feel the weight of every ounce of damage done and yet you can’t help but be glued to the screen. Again, this isn’t simply violence for violence’s sake—the cinematography deployed in order to capture the fight is as dynamic as the fight itself. As the camera pans, it does so with such force and ferocity that the impact is felt. But Evans also favors very few cuts between shots and it helps the scene flow naturally while maintaining huge intensity. Evans is doing truly phenomenal work and before long, he will be one of the elite directors we’re all talking about.

As the show embraces the violence of the criminal underworld, it also helps underpin the overall plot that is expertly delivered by the development of diverse characters that bring this script to life. Led by Sope Dirisu as Elliot Finch, an undercover detective that’s gotten in far too deep, he sets the bar for everyone around him, and he’s not left disappointed. Dirisu goes above and beyond in Season 2 and gets some very emotive stories to play about with.

Newcomer Waleed Zuaiter plays the enforcer Koba sent by Asif (Asif Raza Mir) to get the families to bend the knee and he brings with him a wealth of unhinged depravity. I would love to sit down with Zuaiter and understand his process for how he taps into the mind of a madman like that as he owns the screen in an intimidating fashion.

Orli Shuka, who plays the crime boss Luan, also had some phenomenal scenes for Season 2 and I was stunned by the physicality of his work, but also the chaotic passion he brought.

There are several performances from within the show that I would love nothing more than to dive into but there are so many to mention. Plus, you know, spoilers. What the directors and showrunners have inspired from this cast, however, is exceptional.

Gangs of London Season 2 is utterly depraved, terrifyingly violent, and one of the most entertaining TV series. If you don’t have AMC+ then you need to get it right now and catch up on Season 1 so you’re ready for the carnage of the second season. Gareth Evans has demonstrated beyond doubt that he understands there is a style in which violence on film can be utilized to reinforce a story and my god he proves it several times over in this series.

Gangs of London is an action-packed thrill ride that will have your heart racing and begging for more. I can’t stress enough that this is a must-watch series, it’s just superb television.

Gangs of London Season 2 is a weekly series with the first two episodes coming exclusively to AMC+ on Thursday, November 17th.


Gangs of London Season 2
  • 10/10
    Rating - 10/10
10/10

TL;DR

Gangs of London is an action-packed thrill ride that will have your heart racing and begging for more. I can’t stress enough that this is a must-watch series, it’s just superb television.

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