MacIntyre follows Noonan, narrating the pertinent details of his life and livelihood as he tries to win acquittals in a succession of criminal trials against him — involving everything from drug dealing to firearms possession to armed robbery. As such, MacIntyre does a decent enough job of sketching out Noonan's persona. Sporting a dapper suit, nerdy specs, squeaky bald head and low-key vibe, Noonan makes for an oddly disarming figure. His criminal record may be voluminous enough to fill up a library, but to locals Noonan is a benefactor — a fixer, therapist and underworld employer rolled into one.
Gangster has is incidental and, frankly, exploitative, derived from the fascination we take in watching the denizens of Noonan's downtrodden Manchester neighborhood. There's a wealth of material here — Noonan's own personal and criminal past, the future of his two sons, the socioeconomic blight afflicting his community — to delve into and create an incisive, honest portrait of a man and his environment. MacIntyre pokes around each of these, but his attempts feel perfunctory. They're limited to off-handed and unexamined remarks (as when Noonan mentions the sexual abuse he suffered as an adolescent), lingering moments with his forlorn children and funny but aimless interviews with Noonan's family and petty-thief cronies, all of which illuminates frustratingly little. Instead, MacIntyre channels his energies toward filling his compositions and soundtrack with crime-movie attitude — including immaculate crane shots of Noonan's working-class milieu — that seem ridiculously out of place here but could be right at home in Britain's next big gangster flick, which MacIntyre is clearly itching to make.
Cast: Dominic Noonan
Director/Producer: Donal MacIntyre
Rating: Not yet rated
Running time: 97 min.
Relaese date: TBD