DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com Awards & Recommendations at Amazon.com.
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Gareth Evans, Matt Flannery
Joe Cole, Sopé Dìrísù, Michelle Fairley
Writing Credits:

London becomes torn apart by the turbulent power struggles of its international gangs amid the sudden power vacuum created when the head of the most powerful crime family is assassinated.

Rated TV-MA.

Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 554 min.
Price: $39.98
Release Date: 7/20/2021

• Six Featurettes


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Gangs of London: Season One [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 17, 2021)

With 2020’s Gangs of London, we get an AMC series about… the gangs of London. Let’s hear it for truth in advertising!

This three-disc package includes all nine of Season One’s episodes. The plot synopses come from the show’s official website.

Episode 1: “London’s most powerful criminal (Colm Meaney) is found dead and no one knows who ordered the hit. Sean Wallace (Joe Cole) puts a stop to all criminal business in London until he finds his father’s killer.”

Nearly every opening episode of a series concentrates on character introductions and exposition. “E1” follows that plan and it does fine in that regard.

I can’t say this show makes me eager to see what will follow, but it does nothing to dim my interest either. It launches the series on a perfectly adequate note.

Episode 2: “Tensions continue to grow on the morning of Finn’s funeral. Creating as much chaos as he prevents, Elliot Finch (Sopé Dìrísù) goes deeper and deeper into London’s murky underworld.”

On the positive side, “Episode 2” expands Elliot and gives us better understanding of that role. On the negative side, the show tends to often feel like a lot of yelling/threats without much real narrative movement. We’ll see if subsequent programs improve on that loose framework.

Episode 3: “Elliot establishes a connection with a key member of the Dumani family. Meanwhile, Sean unleashes his fury after making a discovery about his father’s murder.”

After two fairly meh shows, Gangs kicks into higher gear with “Episode 3”. A flashback at the start lets us see the brutal impact Finn had on Sean, and other scenes add urgency and impact to a series that seemed a bit flat previously. “Episode 3” gives me hope the rest of Season One will continue to provide powerful material.

Episode 4: “Lale (Narges Rashidi) is asked to make an impossible decision. Sean enacts a dangerous plan. Elliot takes on a new foe.”

After a literally explosive opening, “E4” feels less exciting, as it digs more into character material and less into action. Though not as invigorating as “E3”, this one manages to provide useful momentum, so it accomplishes its goals.

Episode 5: “Elliot’s loyalty is tested by an increasingly suspicious Ed Dumani (Lucian Msamati). Sean throws a dinner to unite the two families. Alexander (Paapa Essiedu) is asked to meet with an old contact.”

I admit that Gangs provides a broader scope than I anticipated, as I figured it would focus primarily on Sean and company, whereas it spreads a wider reach than that. I view this as a positive, mainly because Sean feels like the least interesting member of the main cast.

The synopsis made me think we’d spend more time with Sean than we do, which I view as a positive. While we get some revelations related to his father, Sean himself remains dull. Still, the rest of “E5” works pretty well.

Episode 6: “Hidden away in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, Darren (Allep ap Steffan) wrestles with the chaos he’s unleashed.”

While I don’t much enjoy time spent with Sean, I find the general emphasis on topics related to Finn’s killer to work, and that factor makes “E6” intriguing. We spend a lot of time away from London and this creates a rich program that moves the narrative along well. Toss in an epic firefight and this becomes one of the better episodes.

Episode 7: “With the Wallaces retreating to a safe house, Marian (Michelle Fairley) puts pressure on Sean to uncover Finn’s killer. Meanwhile, Elliot’s recuperation is interrupted by a new danger.”

Here comes what I dreaded: an episode with a Whole Lotta Sean. That said, “E7” broadens to the rest of the clan enough that dead-eyed Sean doesn’t become a burden. In particular, it becomes interesting to learn more about Marian.

Episode 8: “With the truth about Finn’s murder revealed, the Wallaces and the Dumanis will never be the same again. Meanwhile, Luan (Orli Shuka) is forced to confront the deadly consequences of his actions.”

As we rapidly approach the season’s conclusion, “E8” helps ratchet up the tension. It delivers various dramatic reveals and plenty of violent threats to push along the story well.

Episode 9: “With the stakes higher than ever, the Wallaces are forced to go into hiding. Luan risks his life to rid himself of Mosi (Richard Pepple). Elliot attempts to save the life of a colleague.”

Man, the safe house budget on Gangs must’ve been through the roof, as it seems like we visit a ton of them! While that conceit gets a little stale, it makes sense for “E9”. Though not packed with action itself, the show sets the table for the finale in an appealing manner.

Episode 10: “Elliot is forced to make a choice that will define his entire future. Sean makes a discovery about a traitor who has been in his midst all along.”

As expected, “E10” ends matters on an appropriately explosive note – while it leaves open the door for Season Two, of course. Some major events occur and this leads to a satisfying finale for this collection of shows.

The Discs Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

Gangs of London appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.00:1 on these Blu-ray Discs. This was a generally positive presentation.

Sharpness looked solid. A few shots were slightly soft, but not to a substantial degree, so most of the movie seemed accurate and concise.

No jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I saw no edge haloes. Source flaws were a non-factor, as the movie stayed clean.

Like most modern thrillers, Gangs favored a teal tint with a dollop of amber as well and some dingy shades of green and yellow. Within their parameters, the colors appeared solid.

Blacks seemed deep and tight, while shadows were smooth and well-delineated. In the end, the transfer proved to be appealing.

As for the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack of Gangs, it became a reasonably involving mix. With a smattering of action scenes, we got some lot of good material from all sides.

Various elements blended around the spectrum and added a nice sense of activity to the film. Stereo music also worked well, and this turned into a moderately vivid soundscape.

Audio quality seemed fine. Speech was crisp and distinctive, with no edginess or other concerns.

Music was full and rich, while effects came across as lively and accurate. The track boasted good low-end when appropriate. All of this was enough for a “B”.

Six featurettes appear on Disc Three. Viewed via “Play All”, these span a total of 41 minutes, 45 seconds as they bring notes from creator/director Gareth Evans, executive producers Thomas Benski and Lucas Ochoa, directors Xavier Gens and Corin Hardy, action designer/stunt coordinator Jude Poyer, and actors Joe Cole, Sopé Dìrísù, Michelle Fairley, Lucian Msamati, Paapa Essiedu, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Brian Vernel, and Narges Rashidi.

Across the featurettes, we learn about story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, action and stunts.

The first five featurettes tend to feel fluffy, as they seem to exist more to promote the series than to inform. The last one – the 15-minute, 48-second “Anatomy of an Action Scene” works better, though.

It actually covers two sequences and provides Evans’ commentary as we watch the fight segments. This becomes easily the most informative aspect of the extras.

After a semi-slow start, Gangs of London kicks into bloody gear. This allows Season One to provide an involving, rich look at the subject matter. The Blu-rays offer good picture and audio along with minor bonus materials. Bring on Season Two!

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
1 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main