Don't mess with the Brits.
I used to think British people were all a bunch of lame pansies walking
around with top hats and bad teeth, but I have seen a movie which has changed
The film is called The Limey. It's about a British guy (called a Limey,
because, I guess, they eat a lot of limes over there or something) who comes
to Los Angeles to find out why his daughter got shoved into a flaming car and
pushed over Mulholland Drive.
Shoot him, punch him, kick him, stab him. He just gets up and comes back for
more. He's like the British Terminator. "I'll be back, old chum!" Pretty
damn scary, if you ask me.
The Limey is played by Terence Stamp, an actor who has been in all sorts of
movies, from The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert to Star Wars:
Episode One - The Phantom Menace to some other movies with punctuation in the
title. But I will always love him for being General Zod in Superman 2.
Kneel before Zod.
He's mean, he's tough, he talks with an accent. Basically, he rules.
The thing is, this is an independent movie. Which means it's kinda slow,
because instead of a lot of car chases and gun battles, they're wasting time
building character and plot and stuff. Also, it means that not one of the
five previews they showed before the flick had Arnold Schwarzenegger in it.
Talk about lame.
The story is told in a weird way. It starts near the end, flashes to the
beginning, periodically flashes back to the end and to some parts in the
middle and then to some parts that are right about to happen, and then you
see the parts you just saw. Sometimes the actors are actually moving their
mouths when they're speaking, other times it'll cut to moments afterwards
visually while staying in the present audibly and then cut back to the past
visually and back to the present while never actually interrupting the
dialogue. Some people call it a brilliant use of style and pace, I think it
was just bad editing.
Another problem I had with it was that just about everyone, the good guys and
the bad guys, are really old. Terence Stamp is our geriatric hero and Peter
Fonda and Barry Newman are the sinister bad guys who could really use a
walker to help get them around. I mean they're all good actors, but I'm
reminded of just how unsinister Wilford Brimley was in The Firm. It's the
same effect. How worried is anyone gonna be when they're stalked by Grandpa?
A lot of critics really liked this movie, and I expected to like it a lot
myself. but I didn't. Yet I don't think that means it was a bad movie, I
just think I wanted a faster movie. The basic premise "They killed his
daughter, now he's come for revenge." is great. Plenty of chances for sex
and violence. And it delivers. At it's own pace. Which is to say, slowly.
Really slowly. Again, lots of character development taking up valuable
You know what else bothered me? No surprises. You start the film by pretty
much learning what he does, then you watch him do what he needs to do to get
to the point where he'll do what he does. Then you get to the climax and he
does what you know he was going to do in the first place, and the movie's
Personally, I don't think the movie needed to be made. We already have our
British action guy, his name's James Bond, and he's back kicking serious ass
in a couple of weeks. And yet, something about how The Limey could basically
withstand anything anyone did to him and bounce up and kill them was pretty
I guess you could say I'm of two minds on the movie. I liked it, it was a
good movie. I didn't like it, it was dull and slightly confusing. The film
critic in me says it was a good movie highly deserving of praise. The movie
junkie in me almost fell asleep.
So I'm siding with the junkie and giving The Limey 2 1/2 Babylons.
Just don't tell the Brits, I don't want any of them to get angry with me and
force-feed me marmite.
For those of you who have been complaining that the SMC was getting away from
his "less blabbing, more stabbing" attitude of years past, I hope you're
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Terence Stamp, Peter Fonda, Barry Newman, Lesley Ann Warren and Her
Majesty The Queen.