DVD review: My Name is Lenny (4 out of 5)

Josh Helman and Michael Bisping in My Name is Lenny. Photo: Rob Youngson
Josh Helman and Michael Bisping in My Name is Lenny. Photo: Rob Youngson
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Everyone loves a character and Lenny McLean was certainly larger than life.

Born in 1949, he (and his siblings) suffered from an abusive step-father.

He grew up to earn his way as a notorious bareknuckle fighter from the 60s to the 80s.

But he had a long-running feud with boxer Roy Shaw who set himself up as The Guv’nor, a title Lenny was determined to take.

And it’s this series of (unlicensed) fights in the 70s that the film revolves around.

Lenny had stormy relationships with family and friends and this movie certainly doesn’t hold back.

Aussie Josh Helman really gets into the role and just a stare from those piercing eyes is enough to frighten anyone.

There’s some cracking performances, but John Hurt, in one of his final roles, is an absolute delight in his all too brief appearance - a mini masterclass.

Writers Paul Van Carter and Martin Askew certainly get to the heart of the story, but also manage to inject some humour into the film, especially early on.

Chanel Cresswell as Lenny’s long-suffering wife Val is very good and all the supporting cast slots in well.

Helman’s facial grimaces may seem a bit extreme sometimes but it conjures up a feeling of a man on the edge.

Lenny claimed to have known the Krays and that’s no surprise and even his appearance in Guy Ritchie’s 1998 British gangster comedy film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels seems appropriate.

But this and quite a chunk of Lenny’s life is left out, but what we do have is a series of events that encapsulate what he was all about.

My Name is Lenny is at the East End Film Festival on June 9 and at select sites nationwide. Also available on digital download June 9 and DVD and Blu-ray from June 12.