Good looks aren't everything – everyone knows that. The very same ideology can also be applied to the world of cinema; when a film has the body and the face, but very little personality to back up the pretty package, the payoff is – more often than not – rather disappointing.

Unfortunately, this seems to be the case with British crime-thriller, Welcome to the Punch.

Welcome to the Punch's opening sequence starts off with a heist in London's slick – and eerily empty – Canary Wharf business district. In hot pursuit of elusive thief, Jacob Sternwood (Strong) and his gas-mask wearing motorcycle-riding crew, the young and exceptionally driven detective, Max Lewinsky (McAvoy), will stop at nothing until his target is caught and put behind bars. Unfortunately, Sternwood manages to get away and as a parting gift, Max is left with a bullet in his knee.

Fast forward to three years later and Max is still reliving the events from that night and finding it hard to deal with the banality of everyday life. Max's newly-assigned partner, Sarah Hawks (Riseborough), offers some support, but the scar that he's left with – and a routine fluid drain to reduce consistent swelling – plays as a constant reminder of his failure.

Soon, Max is given another chance to capture his nemesis when Sternwood decides to emerge from his Icelandic hideout and return to London. Max, who has been waiting for this chance for three years, immediately jumps on the case, only to uncover a web of conspiracy and lies involving his own police department.

Welcome to the Punch marks Eran Creevy's second feature film after his successful directorial debut back in 2008 with Shifty; a British thriller involving a young cocaine dealer and his life on the shabby streets of London. This time, Creevy glams up those very same streets; a move that proves to be successful, as Welcome to the Punch is glorious to look at. The opening heist sequence is a piece of cinema any Hollywood big-shot would be proud of and the entire film rests against the twinkly lights of the prominent London skyline, with every scene saturated in a steely blue-grey tone.

However, this is where the praise stops. Scratching beneath its beautifully crafted surface, there's nothing else to hold the story together. The plot is incoherent, the dialogue is thoughtless and the tension – which is especially needed in a cat-and-mouse thriller such as this – is almost non-existent.

This is far from McAvoy's best work and the role of a copper driven by vengeance just doesn't fit the talented Scotsman. Meanwhile, Strong – whose heavy on-screen presence is hard to deny – picks up most of the slack.

Ridiculously slick and polished, Welcome to the Punch is almost picture-perfect. However, it fails to deliver what it initially promises; the punch.