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4 reviews, 30 user ratings

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Limey, The
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by Isobel Sharp

"Revenge means never getting to say youíre sorry."
3 stars

Despite the setup as an action movie, The Limey is less about action than perception and personal discovery. Not that there isnít the occasional shootout, plot twist, and semi-naked woman, but thatís not the core of the film, so donít be disappointed when nothing blows up. Be happy you can watch Terence Stamp play one of the most compelling ex-cons youíll see on film, in a movie that doesnít distract too much from his performance.

Wilson (Terence Stamp) has never been much of a family man. In and out of prison for a majority of his life, heís just gotten out after a nine year stint for armed robbery, and headed from England to L.A., after receiving news about his daughterís death. The clipping came from Ed Roel (Luis Guzman), whoíd met Jenny in, because this is L.A., his acting class. Though he doesnít know much about the adult Jenny, Wilson is convinced that her death canít be accidental Ė she was too much in control of herself to make such a fatal mistake as to drive a little too fast on a curvy road. With the assistance of Ed and Elaine (Lesley Ann Warren), Jennyís closest friend in L.A., Wilson uncovers Jennyís life, learning more about her after her death than he had while she was alive.

The biggest fact he uncovers is the existence of Jennyís boyfriend, Terry Valentine (Peter Fonda), a wealthy ex-hippie record producer who seems to have been involved in a criminal business deal, one that Jenny may have known too much about for her own good. Once Valentine is in his sights, Wilson proceeds single-mindedly towards his destruction, sure that this man is behind the death of his daughter. Heís willing to do anything necessary to get to Valentine, and shows no hesitation in killing people who make trouble for him.

This movie, despite the setup, is less about revenge than discovery. Wilson holds to a few certainties about his daughter, including his belief that she would not die in a one-car accident, but he knows little else about her. Much of his time not actively spent pursuing Valentine is spent talking to people about his daughter: how she met these people, what she was like when they knew her, and what she might have said about him. Even in his final confrontation with Valentine, Wilson learns what an impact his criminal behavior had on his daughter as a child, and how her childish attempts to control her fatherís behavior, replayed as an adult, might have contributed to her death.

There are other plot points in this movie, but theyíre largely extraneous to the core of it, which is Stampís performance as a father mourning a daughter he is just getting to know. Stamp does an excellent job in conveying complex emotions very simply, with a look or gesture; early scenes of him on a plane, quietly considering his quest and thinking about Jenny as a child, are particularly moving. Fonda is a good counterpart for Stamp; where Stamp is quiet and confident, Fonda is expansive and uncertain. Yet both men are of an age, and alike in their charactersí reliance on the past for their understanding of the present. Warren and Guzman are strong supporters, playing sympathetic if cautious aides to Stampís one-man show. The camerawork is interesting; major scenes are framed in a patchwork of flashbacks and flashforwards, intercut with scenes from the past or Jennyís imagined point of view. This makes the film feel more like life, where though time may be linear, our memories and imagination often play with boundaries between past, present, and future.

The movie isnít quite strong enough to stand up outside of the performances of the four main characters, especially Stampís. Many plot threads seem there just to march the movie forward, and only detract from the meat of the show: the journey Wilson goes on to discover his daughter, even if too late. But still, itís more than worth watching for his performance alone, well-supported by a solid cast.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1724&reviewer=291
originally posted: 05/11/02 00:52:00
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User Comments

2/04/13 matthew thompson dalldorf Great neo-noir 5 stars
12/18/06 William Goss Stamp's performance elevates otherwise unremarkable revenge drama. 3 stars
12/05/05 Peter Hanbury So pretentious and irritating that it was almosr unwatchable. 1 stars
7/19/04 axe terence stamp is worth a butcher's, china 4 stars
4/05/04 Agent Sands A great desperado/revenge pic, but shabby if U think of it as normal desperado/revenge pic. 4 stars
12/07/03 Sammy Does stuff have to blow up to be a good action movie?!!! No it doesn't. 5 stars
11/28/03 chris k i vary good film in my mind 4 stars
5/28/03 Mr. Hat (I'm Back Mo'Fos!!!) Some of the most hilarious violence since "Pulp Fiction" & "Out of Sight." 4 stars
4/24/03 Jack Sommersby Plenty of style, very little substance. Overdirected and annoying. 2 stars
4/22/03 mr. Pink Soderbergh's worst film. 2 stars
9/28/02 Peter Sherlock Nasty stuff! 4 stars
5/12/02 neelyboy tell him im FUCKING coming 4 stars
4/03/02 Edfink Lombardo Directed to perfection, but overall, this is nothing special, though it has its fun moments 3 stars
1/11/02 Robert Some of the best dark humor I've seen in a while. You tell him I'm coming! 5 stars
11/15/01 The Moorhen Could have been so much more... 4 stars
8/29/01 viking Better than those mindless action thrillers 4 stars
8/18/01 Edwin Menguin Crap cockney slang, apart from that, nicely shot film 4 stars
6/24/01 Religion is Poison Barry Newman, Stamp, Guzman, SODERBERGH all good good good. 5 stars
1/15/01 R.W. Welch They almost had something here, but it got away from them. 3 stars
12/12/00 Terrie Smith Very demanding film that is definitely worth seeing. Stamp dominates the film. 4 stars
5/22/00 David Winkler Strong, slick direction with weak, played-out plot. Maybe a good hangover flik! 2 stars
5/21/00 Jesse This film was the best of 1999 for me. Stamp, Newman, Katt, Duke. 5 stars
4/24/00 Monday Morning OK but way too many flashbacks, flash-forwards and long "meaningful" CUs on Stamp's face 3 stars
4/13/00 J B This was the best movie last year. Excellent story along with artistic presentation. 5 stars
4/10/00 Add Soderbergh's the man, his direction makes an ok movie a very interesting and enjoyable one! 4 stars
4/07/00 Nolan Wrage It was ok, the director tried to do too much stuff with the camera. 3 stars
10/16/99 Heather Great movie, basic plot, but I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen 5 stars
10/12/99 revman just perfect 5 stars
10/11/99 JS Michels Two great performance, stunning direction, modern day greek tragedy 5 stars
10/10/99 Mr Showbiz an entertaining, if thinly plotted, noir. 3 stars
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  10-May-2001 (MA)

Directed by
  Steven Soderbergh

Written by
  Lem Dobbs

  Terence Stamp
  Lesley Ann Warren
  Peter Fonda
  Amelia Heinle
  Nicky Katt

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