How times have changed. Whereas Michael Caine's Alfie was a complete bastard who nevertheless managed to claw his way into your heart by the end of the '66 outing, this version of the serial womaniser is a limp dishrag who barely manages to tug a ventricle. Jude Law tries his best as the cheeky chappie scouring New York for totty, with the camera as his confidante. Unfortunately, no amount of star charisma or skill can make his reimagined, PC-tinged cad quite work - you just can't have an apologetic bastard.

As frustrating as this is, the film as a whole is a lot more attractive: slick, witty and colourful. The women in Alfie's life are given zest and character by an array of fine performers - the stand-out being the sultry Susan Sarandon - and the design and direction smartly evoke a warm '60s nostalgia that the hard-nosed and rather more truthful original lacks.

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