As Tambay first said about the project last fall, "typically, in movies with this particular kind of mentor/mentee narrative, the black man is often the mentor (think Morgan Freeman), as in the old sage who trains or imparts his profound wisdom on the younger mentee, who’s usually played by a white actor."
But with his film "Montana," starring Lars Mikkelsen, Michelle Fairley, Adam Deacon, Ashley Walters and McKell David, British director Mo Ali puts a different spin on the tried premise.
According to the film’s official synopsis: "On the mean streets of London’s East End, fourteen-year old Montana (McKell David) discovers that the powerful crime lord and ruthless lieutenants for whom he works secretly killed his father. At the same time, Dimitrije (Lars Mikkelsen), a former Serbian commando, comes looking for the gangster in order to take revenge for the death of his wife and son. Realizing that they share a bloody purpose, Dimitrije now mentors Montana in the dark arts of assassination and relearns the value of life as he teaches the boy the true meaning of friendship, honor and respect."
Director Ali states that his inspiration for his film was from films such as Luc Bresson’s "Leon" (better known as "The Professional" in the U.S.) and "The Karate Kid," which one assumes he means the 1984 original Ralph Macchio version, and not the Jaden Smith remake.
Now the film is getting a U.S. release through Level 33 Entertainment, who will open the film both theatrically and on VOD on 18 September.
Here’s the trailer.