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Dead Fish (2005)

R  |   |  Action, Comedy, Thriller  |  9 February 2006 (Portugal)
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 2,759 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 8 critic

Traitors, killers and lovers collide in London.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Danny Devine
Anouska Bolton Lee ...
French Prostitute (as Anoushka Bolton Lee)
Cassandra Bell ...
Sugar Waters
John Pearson ...
Deck Day
Frank Rosenheim (as Kevin R. McNally)
Abe Klein (as Andrew-Lee Potts)
Julie Healy ...
S & M Prostitute
Paul Courtenay Hyu ...
Phonebooth Guy


Traitors, killers and lovers collide in London.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language throughout, drug use, violence, some sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »





Release Date:

9 February 2006 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

Dead fish - päivä palkkatappajana  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


[first lines]
Abe: I am Abe Klein. Today is my 21 birthday and it's the worst day of my entire life. Because: I am a total stupid idiot and I need help, big help. And I need it right now.
See more »


References The Ren & Stimpy Show (1991) See more »


It's Love (And It's A Wonderful Thing)
Written by Written by Andrew Cato
Performed by Bob Saker
See more »

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User Reviews

A great film that needs to be watched more than once.
23 October 2011 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

The following is a two-in-one review, one from the first time I watched it, and one from several viewings later. I hope this will help put into perspective why you need to see this more than once.

1 Viewing:

I have never been so on the fence about a film that I felt the need to write a review about it, as is the case for Dead Fish.

I purchased this movie in a convenience store bargain bin earlier today, squealing with joy at the sight of my favourite actor, Gary Oldman, looking sexy as hell on the DVD case. I was already vaguely familiar with the wide-spread opinion about Dead Fish - that opinion being that it was, well, a dead fish. However, after sitting through Lost in Space with my IQ still in tact (thanks to Mr.Oldman), I figured that this could not possibly be that bad.

It wasn't. To it's credit, Dead Fish is a fun, up-beat and wonderfully eccentric British film that had me giggling out loud every now and then. The set design is very compelling, particularly the room with the billion or so dirty light bulbs hanging from the ceiling. As an added bonus: GARY OLDMAN SINGS!!!!!! That alone makes this film worthy of purchase.

As for the acting, though perhaps not exactly Oscar worthy, was solid throughout the entire cast. Robert Carlyle was hysterical as Danny, Elena Anaya was a fiery Mimi, and of course, Gary Oldman rocked it once again as the conscience-free, love-sick hit man Lynch. Granted, Lynch is not a very strong character, but Oldman flawlessly manages to breathe life into him. Also praise-worthy was Jimi Mistry as the eternally-high-as-a-kite Salvador. His performance was responsible for at least 40% of aforementioned giggles. Billy Zane, I wanted to punch in the face - just like in Titanic - but I guess that feeling is appropriate for his smug, pompous character.And I suppose Andrew Lee Potts played his part as the hero up to par.

Yet Dead Fish is certainly not without its flaws. The main problem is that, while the plot idea is cute and shows much potential, it was not executed very effectively. The notion of an average Joe getting his phone switched with a hit man who falls in love with his girlfriend could have gone to a much higher level, but fell short due to irrelevant plot twists and completely useless action sequences. The characters were not quite developed as much as they should have been in relation to the storyline, and it took a while to realize just who these people were and why they were doing what they did. Half the time I wasn't even sure what was going on. There is also the issue of suspension of disbelief, but let's not delve into that right now.

All-in-all, Dead Fish is a fun, entertaining film with a great cast and a great idea behind it. If it could just tone down the unnecessary details and focus more on the central plot, this film would be an instant classic.


2.5 Viewings:

After exploring some of the other reviews for Dead Fish, I noticed that a few of them suggested that the film needs to be viewed numerous times in order to be understood. So I waited for a rainy day and decided to give it a second chance. The reviews were right. Here's why:

Fact: The characters are poorly introduced. Fact: The plot can seem confusing and irrelevant. BUT - both of these problems are not even apparent the second time around.

See, by the time you finish watching Dead Fish for the first time, you already have a firm grasp of who the characters are and what their intentions are. That means that when you watch it for a second time, you can focus more of your attention on the plot and dialogue. I got so much more out of it during my second attempt simply because I wasn't continuously asking, "Now who the hell is this guy?" or "Why did they just do that?". As it turns out, the storyline is pretty straight-forward, yet complex enough to be interesting and original.

If there is one problem that wont go away, it's the Virgil and Dragan scenes. Honestly, they're just an endless stream of uninspired insults and failed attempts at "witty" comebacks. if I were you, I would fast forward through them all - except for the short moment when they bump into Oldman's character at his hotel room. That there is a classic of cinema.

So there you go. If you saw this film and didn't like it, please please please watch it again! If you still don't like it, then it's either because it's one of those "love it or hate it" sort of deals, or you didn't listen to me when I told you to fast forward the Virgil/Dragan bits.


3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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