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Dead Fish
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Reviews & Ratings for
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40 out of 64 people found the following review useful:

Painfully embarrassing

Author: preb1 from Norway
21 February 2006

Don't be fooled by gifted actors like Gary Oldman or Robert Carlyle. They simply can't save this movie. It really tries hard to be cool, but fails in every way, and then it tries some more.The story is very confusing, and in the middle of it, you just don't care anymore. Many of the scenes are way too long, with lines that tries hard to be funny,and doesn't make it..but still the scenes move on still trying. The editor must have lost the entire movie in a blender, and then stapled it together. The acting between Billy Zane and Karel Roden makes me crumble into my rear end. This is just a pathetic attempt to make a hit like Lock Stock and two Smoking Barrels. Charley Stadler...sober up!

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21 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Smells like dead fish too...

Author: Ryu_Darkwood from Netherlands
20 June 2007

Sometimes it's a miracle how they can transform a potential good movie in a complete piece of crap. Dead Fish has everything in it to become a nice gangster-comedy, but fails miserably. You can't blame the casting, though. There are some excellent casted actors in roles that suit them fine. Robert Carlyle is superbly casted as greedy loan shark. Gary Oldman plays the role of messed up hit-man with verve. Terence Stamp has that eerie aura that makes his presence worth gold.

But still, despite of all those good actors casted in suitable roles, the movie just doesn't surpass any mediocrity. It feels as if its writers just grabbed a couple of elements from other gangster flicks and threw it in an inspiration-less mixer. It doesn't help that some of the plot lines are just too unfunny for words. I was thoroughly annoyed by the conversations between Drakan and his English host. It just felt as an endless repeating of the same joke that wasn't funny the first time you heard it.

Dead Fish has its moments, but lacks too much.

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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Wasn't THAT bad...

Author: mean_girl_xoxo from Canada
3 August 2008

The main reason I got this movie was to see Gary Oldman do his thing. I think he is a great actor. This movie was one of his poorer film choices, but he did his best with the screenplay. There were somethings in this movie that made me blush a few times because of him, and I'm not talking about the sexual content. Its just how strong Lynch's feelings are and Gary Oldman really portrays that.

But the character that really made me laugh was Robert Carlyle's Danny Divine. He was really the clown of the movie. He his constantly angry and just hilarious in all.

So, I'd give this film a 6 just because of the acting. Great acting, bad script.

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31 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

I can't wait until this film comes to English cinemas nationwide!

Author: katiehark from United Kingdom
24 April 2006

I have been fortunate enough to watch 'Dead Fish' a number of times and like any other characteristically well observed film - it becomes more & more alluring (the more and more you watch it). The clarity of the roles and personalities transform to characterise the essential quirk which formalises the fundamental and key element of this unique & eccentric English film.

A storyline set around 'one day' - based on the concept of the switching of two mobile phones. A simple film in terms of storyline adaptation - nevertheless, a wholeheartedly character driven, well observed, well styled, well directed and well edited piece of spirited modern day film making.

'Dead Fish' doesn't fit into a particular genre or category - in the same way it doesn't promise to be anything other than what it is. This is a light-hearted film with creative license, therefore, if you are open minded or like the appeal of non-mainstream creativity, you will enjoy what this film has to offer.

An entertaining cast retains the pace and characteristics of the film as a generous and consistent dose of subliminal hilarity throughout. Andrew Lee Potts plays an American young male working as a safe-breaker and key-cutter in London, (unassuming) his life is just about to get a whole lot worse as his mobile phone accidentally gets switched with that of a hit man, and as you can imagine leads to chaos and confusion. Needless to say Gary Oldman is the deranged hit man, Robert Carlyle an aggressive debt-collector, Terrance Stamp one of the hit man's targets, and Billy Zane plays a rather convincing goofy local informative (reminiscent of the alluring George Cole character in the St. Trinian's films).

The styling & costume cohesion is distinctive, watch out for the drug-induced light bulbs in Sal's flat, Rosenheim's contemporary white establishment, the seedy strip joint known as the 'Parrot Club' and the burgundy uniform which transforms Robert Carlyle into a time warped 60's Mod with matching obsessive 'same colour' VW Camper van.

There is no denying this is a tremendously well-observed character driven film. The roles formalise into snippets of vulnerability and tension as personalities are pursued. Unsuspecting rivals unite becoming embroiled in bizarre circumstances and the film circulates into a cycle of someone chasing someone else.

Look for the good in this film and you will not be disappointed. The pace and fury fluctuate as scenes are rhythmically punctuated by the excellent and contemporary 'Groove Armada' soundtrack.

In this day and age people often liken new creative film directors (or a new film) to cult inspirational movie makers like; Tarantino, Guy Ritchie or The Coen brothers. 'Dead Fish' is without doubt a cult movie, watch it ten times (I dare you) and love the bones of it like I do!

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18 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Unique Vision

Author: kersus from Canada
16 October 2008

It seemed like someone took the brown acid when they wrote this. It's a crazy wacky ride with a unique vision. If you want to see tremendous performances by Gary Oldman, Billy Zane and the rest of the cast - tune in. If you like something different and off the wall - tune in. If you sometimes laugh when others don't get it - tune in. If you only like mainstream movies - tune out. This is not a movie in the normal Hollywood box and indeed has little to do with the U.S. This is a must own - for those who collect brand new visions. Note for parents: brief topless scenes.

To summarize - A mix-up leads to many lives connecting. It sounds like you've heard it before, but not like this. A Dynamic cast nails their parts seamlessly, and while the movie has moments of mediocrity it stands out as a movie to beat in excellence. This will not be for everyone. Steer clear if you only watch Hollywood blockbusters and dislike festival movies or unique screenplays. I must repeat that Billy Zane and Gary Oldman really show off their dynamic talent.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

My Review

Author: joemamaohio from United States
25 July 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Hit-man Lynch (Gary Oldman) is the best at his game, until one fateful day he runs into Mimi (Elena Anaya) while a thief is stealing her boyfriend Abe's (Andrew Lee Potts) phone. He falls head over heels in love at first sight, and can't get her out of his mind.

Meanwhile, Mimi just confronted Abe by telling him she's pregnant with his baby, and he's having some issues dealing with this new discovery.

Danny Devine (Robert Carlyle), a loan shark, is out to get the money that he loaned people - including money he loaned to Abe and his friend Sal (Jimi Mistry).

After his encounter with Mimi, Lynch realizes she gave him the wrong phone, and Abe also realizes this mistake when he receives a call for Lynch. Abe finds Lynch's money and takes it, and Lynch goes in search of it.

Finally there's Virgil (Billy Zane), who is hired to follow Lynch (although it's actually Abe after they switched phones) because Lynch seems different. They enlist the help of assassin Dragan (Karel Roden) to help with the search.

All of these interlocking stories connect with one man - Samuel Fish (Terence Stamp). What is all their connections? Sure, this isn't as good as say "Snatch" or "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," but it was a humorous mobster action flick. You follow the interlocking stories until its stunning climax, all the while laughing at the pure acting ability of the spectacular actors who are in it.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Charlie Stadler is no Guy Richie, but this film is not a flop

Author: Bene Cumb from Estonia/Tallinn
11 December 2012

Dead Fish is one of the films the Brits are famous for where a small event triggers a sequence of violent and fatal events. Such films contain plenty of mixing ups, peculiar characters, betrayals, and desire for money both by "good" (petty scamps, debtors, idlers) and "evil" (killers, mobsters, robbers) characters. And those are played by good or great actors: here the most outstanding are Gary Oldman, Robert Carlyle and Karel Roden whose performance does smoothen several shortcomings or immoderate scenes in the plot. As for the latter, the first half is stronger and more interesting, the remaining has lingerings and ends with trivial culmination. Nevertheless, it is pleasant to watch (especially due to the actors mentioned above) plus several scenes are really witty and amusing. 7 points for sure from me!

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Works best as parody

Author: milosz_b from Krakow, Poland
12 August 2008

I must admit I quite enjoyed this film. I think it works best as an over-the-top parody of such movies as "Lock, stock..." or "Snatch". The plot makes no sense, rhyme or reason. If you're after a cohesive plot, you'd better look elsewhere. The characters are at times funny and at the same time verging on annoying (think the character played by Brad Pitt in "Snatch", only stretched to the entire cast and entire duration of the film). Absolutely no way for suspension of disbelief here. So, again, if getting immersed in an action film is your thing, look elsewhere. All in all: noisy, clumsy, over-the-top, silly, but for some unknown reason the overall experience for me was actually not so terrible.

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17 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Stunning film with the perfect combination of comedy, and drama with a little dash of romance

Author: walugi from Australia
7 April 2006

I've never felt the need to write a comment for a film before but I really felt the need for Dead Fish. I can't believe it only scores a 5.8 on IMDb!

The film was brilliantly cast. Robert Carlyle is 'charming' as always, Billy Zane likewise. Not to mention Gary Oldman; the man who can act anything. But I think the real credit of this film goes to Elena Anaya, if it weren't for her brilliant performance the film would've fallen apart. The reviewers' empathy and feel for the film revolves around her changing romance with Abe (Andrew Lee Potts). She's a well respected Spanish actor who rarely ventures into English language films, and her beauty is a sight to behold! I would recommend everyone go and buy this film, it's possibly my favourite film of 2004!

Happy Viewing!

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

What a waste of good actors!

Author: merlinwilliams from Canada
24 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The sole redeeming feature in this movie is Robert Carlyle's over the top loan shark - and even that gets overworked in this Lock, Stock/Pulp Fiction wannabe.

The dialogue was frequently unintelligible, scenes were overly long and the ending forced.

I like quirky English films...but quirky English films with plot and good character development.

And Gary Oldman's character singing for no apparent reason? That was worse than the infamous shark jumping episode of Oz, where the prisoners sing. At least JK Simmons can actually sing.

I spent the princely sum of $5 Canadian on this, and wish it was a rental fee instead of a purchase price.

This could have been a good movie. It almost seems like the breakdown in communication the film attempted to portray actually did happen...but between the screenwriter, the director and the editor.

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