Scott Brown
December 21, 2001 AT 05:00 AM EST

Obscenely pork-white under a blazing Mediterranean sun, Ben Kingsley stalked back into the popular consciousness last summer with his volcanic turn as Sexy Beast’s Don Logan, a single-minded sociopath of singular cruelty, sent to yank a reluctant partner in crime (Ray Winstone) out of poolside retirement in Spain. In doing so, the 57-year-old actor clawed at both the conventions of a venerable genre (the London gangster noir) and the strictures of his own image — 18 years and several forgettable movies after a fateful Oscar win, most of the world still knows him as Gandhi. But Beast has gone a long way toward remedying that: Presenting, for the first time, Kingsley the venomous, Kingsley the feral, Kingsley the deadly simple savage who petitions with screams, smashed glass, even his own urine. The eyes that once blessed multitudes now radiate blind, animal rage: Nonviolent resistance, meet violent insistence. ”Where there’s a f — -in’ will — and there is a f — -in’ will — [there’s a way],” snarls the demonic Logan, and blimey, luv, you’re bloody daft if you don’t believe ‘im.

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