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The Godfather meets Itchy & Scratchy: Sky's new Gangs of London series is undermined by lunatic violence

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Elliot Finch (Sope Dirisu), on left, gets close to gang boss Sean Wallace (Joe Cole) in the laughably over-the-top thriller Gangs of London

Elliot Finch (Sope Dirisu), on left, gets close to gang boss Sean Wallace (Joe Cole) in the laughably over-the-top thriller Gangs of London

Elliot Finch (Sope Dirisu), on left, gets close to gang boss Sean Wallace (Joe Cole) in the laughably over-the-top thriller Gangs of London

Most gangster epics follow two basic models. In the first, the protagonist kills his way to the top, consolidates his power and then has to defend his supremacy from rivals.

It usually ends with the anti-hero either a) dying in a hail of bullets, or b) surviving, but realising, too late for redemption, that all the money and power in the world isn’t worth a lifetime of betrayal and murder.

The Godfather Part II (let’s ignore the third film, a redundant, purely money-making exercise) is the definitive example. Michael Corleone has wiped out every last one of his enemies, and even killed his own brother, but in the process has lost everything that made him human.