Hyena follows a corrupt London cop trying to shut down an Albanian crime ring before his own illegal activities are discovered.
Set in London, Michael Logan (Peter Ferdinando) is a crooked undercover detective leading a task force of equally dirty cops. Logan’s greed gets the better of him and he is stuck between the brutish Albanian Kabashi brothers, and his work colleagues setting him up and uncovering his criminal behaviour in the force.
Written and directed by up and coming Gerard Johnson, Hyena marks his first feature film. While he doesn’t deliver anything fresh plot-wise, it is still a captivating watch. The violence is paced and makes an impact due to its realistic delivery and the resulting consequences. The cinematography varies from steady and lingering during intense moments and shaky free-cam in the high-action parts, which adds another element of suspense.
Ferdinando delivers the strongest performance as the abrasive Michael. The Kabashi brothers played by Gjevat Kelmendi and newcomer Orli Shuka are also standouts as the bad guys. Stephen Graham’s acting abilities are unfortunately not utilised as the Inspector-in-Charge, David Knight.
The soundtrack is dreary yet whimsical but sets the tone beautifully; offset with upbeat synth-pop during episodes of illicit drug use, acting as the relief from the darker elements of the story.
Recommended for those who enjoy gritty, contemporary British cinema.
Reviewed by Adriana Allman
Rating out of 10: 7
Hyena is out now on Blu-ray and DVD.