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Bodywork (2001)

 -  Crime  -  4 September 2001 (USA)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 130 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 3 critic

The luckless Virgil Guppy has been framed for murder and is now a fugitive. Aided by a dysfunctional family of thieves, unorthodox police procedure and some clever body work of his own, he sets out to clear his name.

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Title: Bodywork (2001)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Virgil Guppy
...
Tiffany Shades
Wendy Cooper ...
Prostitute
...
Fiona Money
Lynda Bellingham ...
Poppy Fields
...
Billy Hunch
Michael Attwell ...
David Leer
Peter Moreton ...
Buddy Lear
Simon Gregor ...
Legal
...
Alex Gordon
Jordan Maxwell ...
Dolittle Shades
...
Danny Sparks
Jeremy Clyde ...
Boss
Frank Mills ...
Sydney Greengrass
...
Rudi Scott
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Storyline

The luckless Virgil Guppy has been framed for murder and is now a fugitive. Aided by a dysfunctional family of thieves, unorthodox police procedure and some clever body work of his own, he sets out to clear his name.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Drive carefully, live dangerously.

Genres:

Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, violence, sexuality and drug use | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

4 September 2001 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Billy Hunch: [questioning a murder suspect's girlfriend] Do you remember Mr. Guppy saying anything strange that night?
Fiona Money: 'I'm a green oblong with rounded edges.'
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Soundtracks

Traffic
Written by Stuart Cable & Kelly Jones
Performed by The Stereophonics
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User Reviews

 
Don't judge a book by its cover
22 December 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"Don't judge a book by its cover." We've all heard that phrase before, and if ever that tried and true proverb needs uttering it's when discussing Gareth Rhys Jones' 1999 directorial debut, Bodywork. I don't know if it was Lions Gate or Avalanche Video who picked the horrendous cover art for this disc, but whoever it was should be taken out back and poked repeatedly with a sharp stick Bodywork has more in common with the quirky storytelling of Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels than anything, and I'm not even sure who those people are on the cover. It looks like the two stars, but there is not a scene anywhere in the film that remotely resembles that shot.

Rhys Jones, who also wrote the screenplay, does a fine job of keeping the quirkiness factor pretty high without becoming too over the top. Much of the plot centres around some genuinely comic sequences, and as such doesn't necessarily come across as particularly true to life. However, like Ritchie, Rhys Jones can present a series of tragic and comic events together in such a way as to make it entertaining, and that works for me. An unexpected murder caused by Q-tips occurs near the film's conclusion, and that is a good representation of some of the typically left-of-centre elements Rhys Jones puts out there. To add to the general tone of strangeness, there are brief moments inter-cut throughout the story where the characters, seated in some antiseptic all-white room, are discussing their relationship with Virgil, and we're not sure until the end (and maybe even then) where they are, or if he is dead or alive. Not as gritty or violent as Ritchie's work, Bodywork does still have a nice mix of eccentric secondary characters that make this film a lot of fun. The late Charlotte Coleman (Four Weddings And A Funeral) is the elfishly cute car thief Tiffany Shades, who is partnered with the wiry crook Legal (Simon Gregor). Peter Moreton, as the son of the unscrupulous car dealer, is one of those comically violent types that always seem on the verge of exploding into a rage. The two investigators, exasperated Scot Sgt. Billy Hunch (Clive Russell) and gun happy Det. Danny Sparks (Grahame Fox) are a couple of extremely funny characters, and I wish these two would have had more screen time.


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