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The Limey

"Vengeance knows no boundaries."

The Limey cover Wilson (Terrence Stamp) is fresh out of prison & on his way to L.A. to find out the facts behind the death of his daughter, Jenny. She was the mistress of millionaire record producer Terry Valentine (Peter Fonda), & Wilson is convinced that Valentine knows what actually happened. Two of Jenny's friends, Ed Roel (Luis Guzmán), & Elaine (Lesley Ann Warren), help Wilson out, while Valentine's head of security (Barry Newman) tries to stop them.

The storyline is essentially Get Carter in L.A. - violent vengeance of a slain relative. However, Wilson is very much a fish out of water in the alien culture of America, rather than Jack Carter returning home.

It is, as you would tend to expect from Soderbergh, a very good looking picture. Each shot is beautifully crafted, but sadly, what it has in aesthetics it lacks in true substance. There are some fine performances from the cast. Soderbergh regular Guzmán puts in another solid display, & Barry Newman is commendable (but this reviewer might be biased - Vanishing Point is one of my favourite films). Terrence Stamp, though, seems hampered by his cockney accent & never seems entirely comfortable with it. The rhyming slang drops like stones off his otherwise eloquent tongue. At times it sounds like you're watching a second rate 90's British gangster picture. It adds nothing to the film, and the fish out of water aspect of an Englishman in LA only goes as deep as misunderstood turns of phrase.

The editing is also patchy. There's a lot of 'flashforward', used to great effect in the bar-bedroom scene in Out Of Sight. Here it just happens too often to be effective. The flashbacks (featuring a young Stamp in Poor Cow) are interesting though, & help to illustrate the female version of the Oedipus syndrome (Elektra syndrome) - a girl falling for a man like her father.

Overall, it's a typically stylish Soderbergh film, but for a better execution of family vengeance watch Get Carter (the original, not the Stallone rehash).


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