I Came By review: Hugh Bonneville eerily efficient and unexpected as he raises stakes in watchable thriller

No more Mr Brown for Bonneville (Picture: Netflix/Nick Wall)

Just as the hype surrounding the trailer suggested, I Came By introduces audiences to a whole new side of Hugh Bonneville that’s about as far removed from the affable and kindly Lord Grantham in Downton Abbey and Paddington Bear’s Mr Brown as you can get.

Here we’ve swapped tea and crumpets for poison and secret basements, as it were.

However, making it all about Bonneville does a disservice to the tight script and stellar ensemble cast, including Kelly Macdonald, who also help deliver some decent thrills and spills in this timely film from Bafta-winner Babak Anvari.

I Came By sees two rebellious young graffiti artists (George MacKay and Percelle Ascott), who target the homes of London’s wealthy elite with their work, come into the orbit of retired High Court judge and known do-gooder Sir Hector Blake.

All is not quite as it first appears though, and when Jay (The Innocents and Tin Stars’s Ascott) discovers a dark secret about the prestigious and well-connected Sir Hector, it leads him on a shocking journey endangering himself and those closest to him.

Writer and director Anvari might have first had the inspiration for the film years ago while still studying, but the central theme of corruption within the establishment – driven in part by privilege – is as relevant now as it was then.

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video

I Came By review: Hugh Bonneville eerily efficient and unexpected as he raises stakes in watchable thriller

Grafitti artists targeting London’s elite are played by Percelle Ascott and George MacKay (Picture: Netflix/Nick Wall)

I Came By review: Hugh Bonneville eerily efficient and unexpected as he raises stakes in watchable thriller

Bonneville’s retired judge Sir Hector Blake is hiding some pretty terrifying secrets (Picture: Netflix/Nick Wall)

MacKay and Ascott fizz together onscreen as best friends whose bond is developed by closely-held beliefs but struggle when their paths in life diverge, with MacKay (1917, True History of the Kelly Gang) expertly channelling a lot of frustrated energy into the troubled Toby while Ascott’s effortless likability as Jay keeps the audience invested in him throughout.

Kelly Macdonald is reliably watchable and at ease in the role of Toby’s drained mother Lizzie, forced out of her red wine and reality TV slump and into sleuthing mode when menace comes knocking.

Messy, heartbroken and thoroughly human are the qualities in which she is rarely surpassed, and this role has them in heaps, even if it doesn’t always stretch quite far enough for a performer of her prowess.

I Came By review: Hugh Bonneville eerily efficient and unexpected as he raises stakes in watchable thriller

Kelly Macdonald is terrific as ever (Picture: Netflix/Nick Wall)

I Came By review: Hugh Bonneville eerily efficient and unexpected as he raises stakes in watchable thriller

She plays mum Lizzie, who despairs at her son Toby’s (MacKay) attitude (Picture: Netflix/Nick Wall)

The film juggles different lead characters as different points, allowing all a pretty juicy bite of its action-adventure apple. It’s also not afraid to make some bold decisions in its storytelling in order to ramp up the stakes and truly emphasise the evil at its core (it’s quite something when someone throwing an unread essay into the bin can make you gasp with rage).

However, I Came By is definitely elevated by Bonneville’s steely turn as Sir Hector, using his veneer of civility and harmlessness to trick and ensnare.

I Came By review: Hugh Bonneville eerily efficient and unexpected as he raises stakes in watchable thriller

MacKay is joined by Percelle Ascott as the two young leads (Picture: Netflix/Nick Wall)

I Came By review: Hugh Bonneville eerily efficient and unexpected as he raises stakes in watchable thriller

I’d keep an eye on this one, if I were you (Picture: Netflix/Nick Wall)

Basically, he’s pretty good at being really rather scary, coiling tightly as a spring and leaving the audience guessing as to how, when and where he’ll suddenly spring – and in more ways than one.

 I Came By stumbles occasionally in a few of its finer plot points, as well as flagging slightly in a few run-of-the-mill scenes, but Anvari knows the value of a well-paced script kept comfortably under the two-hour mark.

Add that, his desire to bring a Hitchcockian thriller back to London and the calibre of his cast up – alongside Bonneville’s eager yet nervous fans – and it’s a film few should opt to miss when it comes by.

I Came By will be in select UK cinemas on August 19 and on Netflix from August 31.

Got a story?

If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us celebtips@metro.co.uk, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.

NEWS RELATED

After hot summer, September jobs report could signal a cooling trend

A man walks past a “Now Hiring” sign in New York City on July 8, 2022. Economists and the Federal Reserve are looking for signs that job growth cooled in September, which could help with uncomfortably high inflation. ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images hide caption toggle caption ANGELA WEISS/AFP ...

View more: After hot summer, September jobs report could signal a cooling trend

US, UK hold drone drill in Persian Gulf after Iran seizures

US, UK hold drone drill in Persian Gulf after Iran seizures The U.S. Navy has held a joint drone drill with the United Kingdom in the Persian Gulf FILE – In this file photo released by the U.S. Navy, a Saildrone Explorer unmanned sea drone sails in the Gulf of ...

View more: US, UK hold drone drill in Persian Gulf after Iran seizures

Broadway star Susan Egan reveals Bell’s palsy diagnosis after suffering facial paralysis

Susan Egan shared on that Facebook she was diagnosed with the condition Bell’s Palsy Syndrome. The Walt Disney Company via Gett Broadway star Susan Egan revealed she’s been diagnosed with Bell’s palsy just weeks before she was due to head on tour. The 52-year-old, who was nominated for a ...

View more: Broadway star Susan Egan reveals Bell’s palsy diagnosis after suffering facial paralysis

These M&S jeggings keep getting rave reviews: 'Cosy, comfortable and wash well'

The cosy M&S jeggings to add to your basket now. (Getty Images) Last year Marks & Spencer (M&S) launched cosy high waisted leggings that flew off the shelves, but did you know there are now cosy jeggings? Yes, M&S' bestselling jeggings have been given new super soft twist, which ...

View more: These M&S jeggings keep getting rave reviews: 'Cosy, comfortable and wash well'

Barnard College will offer abortion pills for students

The entrance of Barnard College in New York City. Seth Wenig/AP hide caption toggle caption Seth Wenig/AP Barnard College, a private women’s college in New York City, will give students access to medication abortion — abortion pills — as soon as fall of next year, school officials announced Thursday. ...

View more: Barnard College will offer abortion pills for students

Clarkson's battle to save Diddly Squat restaurant: Furious Oxfordshire councillors say presenter has gone to war with them 'because it's good for ratings' - but locals slam order to shut diner which 'brings business to the area'

Presenter Jeremy Clarkson told by West Oxfordshire Council he had six weeks to make changes The presenter's fans have blasted 'jealous locals' after his restaurant was forced to close after complaints  Local Conservative councillor Dean Temple 'I think he was after the confrontation 'because it would be good for his ratings'

View more: Clarkson's battle to save Diddly Squat restaurant: Furious Oxfordshire councillors say presenter has gone to war with them 'because it's good for ratings' - but locals slam order to shut diner which 'brings business to the area'

Layered dips you can make that will feed the whole team

Bacon Cheeseburger Dip BBQ Bacon Ranch Dip Buffalo Chicken Dip California BLT Dip Candy Bar Dip Chicken Parmesan Dip Chili Dog Dip Cowboy Caviar Greek Seven-Layer Dip Hot Italian Dip Indian Dip Mac & Cheese Tex-Mex Dip Asian-inspired Dip Peanut Butter Dessert Dip Pizza Dip Reuben Dip Seafood Dip ...

View more: Layered dips you can make that will feed the whole team

Charlie Appleby confirms Native Trail will race as four-year-old

Irish 2000 Guineas winner Native Trail will continue his racing career as a four-year-old.

View more: Charlie Appleby confirms Native Trail will race as four-year-old

French Satellite Operator Eutelsat Says Satellites Are Being Jammed From Inside Iran

I always avoided family duties. Then my dad had a fall and everything changed

Freeze spending on Wales and Scotland and halving the number of free buses given to the elderly and disabled: Tory blueprint for winning an election written by Liz Truss's top economic adviser

UK households could get £10 a day to use appliances off-peak as National Grid warns of winter blackouts

Number of Covid patients in London hospitals up by a fifth in a week

Stripped to the bones: Why a new NYC concert hall sounds so much better

'Sirens' review: A touching tale of an Arab adolescence I never thought I'd see on screen

Kate Beaton's new graphic memoir is about the dark type of job you take for money

Early signs a new U.S. COVID surge could be on its way

Trial opens for the case that ignited Australia's #MeToo movement

Thousands vote in southern Africa's small kingdom Lesotho

The return of the travel agent – but not as you know it

OTHER NEWS

Breaking thailand news, thai news, thailand news Verified News Story Network