4 State of the nation.SECTION8 | 21/08/2011 | See all SECTION8's reviews (1336)Top 10 Reviewer Top 10 DVD Reviewer Wide-eyed and vulnerable, Toby Kebbell first came to our attention in 2004's Dead Man's Shoes. Having piqued Hollywood's interest (Prince Of Persia, Guy Ritchie's RocknRolla, Steven Spielberg's War Horse), he,s coming of age in another homegrown demob drama.But instead of the brutal simplicity of Shane Meadow's masterpiece, Director Matthew Hope attempts to cram three genres into one film.As Miller Kebbell's Afghanistan hero tries to acclimatise himself to life on a South London council estate, the plot spins through urban spy games, hoodie histrionics and shell-shocked psychological profiling.Although Hope doesn't really do any of them full justice, keeping three plates spinning does ensure things are never dull.Most intriguing is the examination of Miller's battle-ravaged mind (a la Taxi Driver's Travis Bickle). Whether spitting at himself in the mirror, or springing into chilling, real looking violence,Miller is a tragedy waiting to happen, albeit one in a thriller waiting to ignite. This internal battle is externalised as he rubs up against local dealers.There's a great moment framing him alone on an identikit council estate balcony, and several terrible ones, including an expositionbarking Brian Cox and his government goons, who hire Miller to uncover terrorists in the film's most topical, thrilling but cliched section.Though there will be no redemption, the film does have many saving graces. Kebbell is one of our most talented young actors, and the camera loves his unstudied certainty.The action sequences are also very impressive , perhaps Director Hope should have concentrated on those a little more as they truly do thril and rattle the ear drums in the climatic running battle on the estate. It wouldn't be the first time a film about war only came to life in the battle scenes, despite the irony.Also with the added music score that is very similar to John Williams compsed thumping Munich.The Veteran is a thoughtful and at times scary state-of-the-nation conspiracy thriller split three ways,although it overstretches itself by fighting on too many fronts at once. This is a film that really needs to be scene as it's the side of this great nation that we don't get told about by our goverment.See if you like....The Bourne Trilogy.Munich.Body Of Lies.The Kingdom.Taxi Driver.