An ex-con, fresh out of prison, goes to L.A. to try to learn who murdered his daughter. However, he quickly finds that he is completely out of place with no understanding of the culture he finds. His investigations are helped by another ex-con. Together they learn that his daughter had been having an affair with a record producer, who is presently having an affair with another young woman. An aging actress, who also knew his daughter, forces him to look at his own failures as a father. The movie does focus on the drama of the situation and the inter-relationships of the characters and seldom slips into an action piece. Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The `revenge story' is a pretty overdone plot device, so when a film comes along that employs this theme and still remains fresh and compelling, it is safe to say that is a truly good film. Steven Soderbergh's `The Limey' is able to do just that. In `The Limey', Terrence Stamp plays Wilson, a career criminal who, upon being released from prison in England, finds out that his estranged daughter has died (or perhaps been murdered) in Los Angeles. Wilson's mission is to find out what happened to her, and prescribe his own brand of justice on the man behind her death.
Soderbergh's direction in `The Limey' is superb. While I enjoy and admire most of his filmography, I was so enamored with his second film, the barely-seen, highly acclaimed `Kafka' for its originality, its daring style and intellectual feel, that films like `Oceans Eleven' and `Erin Brockovich', while quite good, didn't reflect what I felt was to be his true maverick style. Seeing `The Limey', made before `Erin Brockovich' and shortly a couple of years after `Kafka', I was happy to see that he kind of held on to that spirit (for lack of a better expression) for one more film before producing more commercial fare. `The Limey' is told in a very non-linear style, and not even as clearly delineated as say, `Pulp Fiction' was; rather it is flashbacks and real-time events expressed by fluttering scenes and an almost wispy presentation. Soderbergh also employs scenes from one of Terrence Stamp's films from the 1960's for some flashbacks, a thoroughly brilliant and creative tactic.
Terrence Stamp certainly deserves mention for his performance as Wilson. Whether seeing him as General Zod in `Superman II' or as the drag queen Bernadette in `The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert' he is a true badass. Watching him chase after Peter Fonda in `The Limey' was like watching a reincarnation of Yul Brunner in `Westworld'; he just never let up. Anyone who would get in his way were pretty much toast, but it was all so coldly done that it was almost clinical just by the hard and distant expression on Wilson's face you know that all of these people were incidental and he wouldn't receive any pleasure until he comes face to face with his nemesis; and even then, it's possibly more of a duty than a pleasure.
Check out this film you won't regret it. However, if you're expecting a film with the same kind of commercial tone as say, `Oceans Eleven' you may be in for a surprise, albeit, in this viewer's opinion, a pleasant one.
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