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The Limey

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The Limey

Starring: Terrence Stamp, Peter Fonda
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Rated: R
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: October 1999
Genres: Action, Drama, Suspense

*Also starring: Lesley Ann Warren, Amelia Heinle, Barry Newman, Luis Guzman, Nicky Katt, Joe Dallesandro, Bill Duke

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Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

With "sex, lies & videotape,""Out of Sight" and now "The Limey," film-maker Steven Soderberg has become the master of the lighter, gentler film noir. Charismatic Terence Stamp (who should have received an Oscar for "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert") stars as a tough Englishman named Wilson who flies from London to Los Angeles to find out who was really responsible for the death of his daughter Jenny. With the help of Luiz Guzman, who had sent him a clipping about the car crash "accident" which took her life, he tracks down a sleek, sleazy pop music producer, played by Peter Fonda, who had been Jenny's lover. He learns even more about what happened from Lesley Ann Warren, Jenny's acting teacher, and finds himself emeshed in Fonda's drug-running operation. Determined to savor his revenge, the Cockney-speaking ex-con fantasizes about drawing a gun and shooting Fonda on the spot but decides to torture the cowardly culprit a bit before killing him. Besides, first he has to eliminate Fonda's smirking chief of security, Barry Newman, and his hired goons. Steven Soderberg's stylish use of recurring flashbacks and memories is compelling. It's as if you're seeing the story unfold through Stamp's clear blue eyes. Curiously, both Stamp and Fonda seem to be doing parodies of their '60s screen personas, and the amazingly "youthful" shots of Stamp were adroitly lifted from Ken Loach's "Poor Cow" (1967) in which Stamp also played a character named Wilson. The weakness lies with Lem Dobbs' laconic script that has loopholes you could drive a truck through, particularly in a segment involving federal agents. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Limey" is a mysterious, dynamic 9. It's a cool, restrained revenge thriller for the art house crowd.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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