The Limey (1999)
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.
An extremely volatile and dangerous Englishman goes to Los Angeles to find the man he considers responsible for his daughter's death.
- Wilson (Terence Stamp) snarls to a black screen "Tell me. Tell me. Tell me about Jenny." cuing the Who's song "The Seeker to play as we get our first look at Wilson, an aged but determined looking man, who makes his way from the airport to a hotel room. He looks at a newspaper clipping about a woman's death and at a California address for an "Ed Roel" written on an envelope. He quickly finds Ed Roel (Luis Guzman)
We then see Wilson flashing between a car, an airplane, and his room, thinking about a little girl. We resume the scene meeting Ed Roel, and Wilson introduces himself reminding Ed that he had written to Wilson about his daughter. Ed realizes who Wilson is and invites him into the house. Ed makes some food, but Wilson isn't interested in small talk. He asks Ed, "Who done it then, snuffed her?" Ed tells him he never said anyone "snuffed her." just sent the newspaper clipping. He tells Wilson that there was an investigation into the accident and his daughter's neck was broken on impact "so she wouldn't have felt the effects of the fire." Ed drives Wilson around and rationalizes that an accident could happen to anybody. Wilson replies, "No. Not my girl. Self control she had. It was a point of pride." Wilson pushes Ed for information on where Jenny bought her "grass or whatever." Ed claims he doesn't know anything about that, and Wilson mentions his tattoos. Ed explains that he did five years in prison, but he's done with that. Wilson surprises him by saying "I just got out meself, didn't I." Wilson changes the conversation, asking "Terry Valentine, this bloke she was bunked up with, what's he got to say for himself?" Ed has no idea about Terry Valentine.
We see Wilson buying a pistol from a couple of kids, the scene flashing back to previous scenes of the hotel, the airplane, driving, and talking at Ed's house. Ed recalls driving Jenny downtown to look for Terry Valentine. He assumed she was looking to catch him with another girl, but was surprised she didn't want to check hotels, but asked him to bring her to "some bad place." where there was shipping going on and men unloading trucks. Valentine wasn't there but Ed says "Jenny stood right in front of those guys, eyeballing them, checking them out. She made me feel like she was covering my ass." We see Wilson alone, finding the place Ed referred to. Wilson cuts through the wire fence (remarkably easily) enter the property, and walks into the building asking the first man he sees at a desk if he knows Terry Valentine. When the man doesn't tell him anything, Wilson starts beating the man, before several more men show up to pull him away. The man at the desk wants to know who Wilson is, and when he mentions Jennifer Wilson, one of the other men asks if she was the girl that came down there one time. The man admits that Terry Valentine is a personal friend, and says he doesn't discuss his friends with anybody. He tells Wilson that Jennifer had come by asking who he was and how he knew Terry and the nature of their business. He then whispers to Wilson what he would've liked to do to Jenny, Wilson can't contain himself and strikes the man in the groin, prompting quick retaliation as the other men ensure Wilson can't respond. They escort Wilson out of the office, taking turns kicking him and throwing him into things on the way out. They throw him onto the pavement and tell him if he comes back they'll kill him. Wilson gets up and pulls a gun tucked in the back of his pants. He walks right back into the building and there is yelling and several shots. One of the men runs away and Wilson yells after him "You tell him. You tell him I'm coming. Tell him I'm fucking coming!"
At a huge Mansion overlooking the hills and ocean. Terry Valentine (Peter Fonda), the owner, watches a 20-ish girl swimming and talks about her name, Adhara (Amelia Heinle) remembering that he had suggested using a constellation to her parents before they named her. He asks if she needs anything. She asks why he keeps "the scary man" in his house, to which he says "Gordon? He's been with me for years. He's not as tough as he looks."
Jim Avery (Barry Newman) watches from overheard and yells to Terry that he has news. He tells Terry "Our friends downtown, someone took them out." They wonder if it was a gang killing but Avery says it was a lone gunman. They mention Jenny.
Ed tells Wilson that Terry Valentine was a "money guy." and that Jenny had been with him for five years. He remarks that Jenny had introduced him to Terry, but Terry "didn't even see him." and that they lived in different social circles, and that he'd met Jenny in his acting class.
Wilson finds Elaine (Lesley Ann Warren) a friend of Jenny's, who tells him "She was twenty one when she came to me, straight from leaving you." Elaine helped Jenny get rid of her English accent. She knows Wilson had been in jail and tells him Valentine is a rock concert promoter.
Ed goes along as Wilson scopes out Terry's place with binoculars. They realize Terry's having a party when they see a lot of valets. The two go over to pretend being guests Wilson tells him "I'm gonna have a butcher's round the house." Ed seems concerned not realizing this is rhyming slang. He asks "Who you gonna butcher?" Wilson says "Butcher's hook, look." and then heads upstairs to look around. He sees a picture in the hall and remembers Jenny as a little girl. Terry joins the party and talks with guests as Wilson checks out his bedroom, hiding when Adhara has to get out of the master bathroom tub to get the phone. Wilson goes downstairs and finds Ed standing by the pool. Wilson realizes the pool is built to extend out into the air with a long drop outside the railing. He imagines shooting Terry at several different ranges, nearly walking right up to him before Ed pulls him back outside. Terry notices the way Wilson looked at him and Avery sends a man out to remove Wilson, who has sent Ed to grab the car. Wilson tosses the security man over the railing catching the party's attention. Everyone rushes to look over the side. Avery attempts to grab Ed who is waiting with the car, but Wilson throws him out of the way and they drive off. Ed tells Wilson he thought he was going to cap the guy, but Wilson insists that "he's gotta know why." Avery follows them, hitting their car and then firing a shotgun at them. Wilson forces Ed to hit Reverse and nearly hits Avery, knocking his car down a ravine.
Avery returns to the house and meets with Terry, and scolds him for talking to the police without him. Terry told made up a story that a longtime employee with drug problems flipped out and committed suicide. Avery reveals that Jenny's father just got out of prison for armed robbery "again." which gets Terry flustered. Terry insists that he can't take care of Wilson using his own security as it could be connected to him. Avery assures him that he has "other resources."
We then find some guys arguing over a break at a pool hall. One of the guys, Stacy (Nicky Katt) beats another guy with a cue as Avery walks in and calls him over. Avery asks "How would you like to kill someone for me." Stacy says "Ok." Stacy is upset that he's supposed to find actually Wilson, telling Avery. "I just do it. I don't organize it." Stacy tells a dimwitted friend he's getting paid $5000.00 for the hit. Stacy and his friend find Elaine at a film shoot and Wilson shows up to see her. They follow them to a hotel garage and just before Stacy moves in for the hit he is stopped by men in suits, who tells Wilson to go with them. They bring Wilson and Elaine to another location. Left alone for a moment, Wilson shows a DEA badge he pickpocketed and tells Elaine that he watched Jenny grow up "in increments." He remembers Jenny used to threaten him, "If you're naughty, Dad, I'll put the law on you. I promise. He recalls her in flashback as a little girl picking up the phone threatening to "shop him." Elaine says "She never would have turned you in, not in a million years."
The lead DEA agent meets with him and Wilson tells him he doesn't care what Valentine's mixed up in. He then tells him a story about him wanting revenge on a prison guard then easing off when he had a chance. Wilson tells him that they're likely after the same thing for different reasons. He tells the agent he's not after money, but something else. The DEA man tells his own story of rich men getting involved in drug trade, they suspect heroin dealers are using Valentine to launder the money. The agent then "accidentally" drops a file, showing a Big Sur address for Valentine and releases Wilson.
Terry Valentine is driving with Adhara to the other house. She realizes that the black SUV behind them has been following them and Terry says "I sure hope so." as Avery and two heavies are following. Ed, Elaine and Wilson drive to the other house as well. Back at the pool hall Stacy grumbles that he knows Avery is up at Big Sur, he wants to go there and the big stash of money or drugs.
At the ocean side house Adhara complains that Terry hasn't told her anything about the situation. He tells her that she wouldn't know anything about having enemies. Elaine tells Wilson that Jenny "lived" at the beach and loved the ocean, causing him to remember her at the beach as a girl. He remarks "She was from an island."
The security watches all around the property as Avery and Terry watch TV, Adhara showers upstairs. Everyone pays attention when a car alarm goes off and some guards go check for it. When it shuts off, Terry realizes that a guard who was on the porch is missing. We see Wilson tying the man up, gagged in the yard. Avery gets Adhara and moves everybody to the living room hiding behind the couch. Avery shoots at a figure in the window, and going to check he finds it was Stacy. Avery is then shot by Stacy's friend, who also shoots another guard before The wounded Avery shoots him while lying on the ground. Wilson then grabs Terry as he's going for the door and fights with him in the house. Adhara stabs Wilson with a skewer but is knocked out, Valentine escapes and grabs Avery's gun, leaving the injured man without a word. Wilson is slowed but follows Terry down the stairs to the rocky beach. Terry shoots at Wilson but misses. He then twists his ankle and falls and Wilson catches him. We hear Wilson snarl the lines from the opening. Tell me about Jenny. Tell me about Jenny!
Terry admits Jenny found about his drug deal and had threatened to turn him in, the confrontation turned violent and Jenny was killed. Avery and his henchmen had helped cover it up with the fake car accident. Wilson leaves Valentine alone.
Wilson is on the plane again. He chats with the woman in the next seat about his trip, and remembers singing a song that goes "Freedom is a word I rarely use without thinking of the time when I was loved, "Jenny's mother in the background telling him the song was good.