"The Limey" has a great plot, if only it could hurry up and tell it. For a movie that is 89 minutes, it seems to drag on for eternity! Steven Soderbergh does a fine enough job, but his over-stylized directing starts to wear on you right from the start.
Directors: Steven Soderbergh
Producers: John Hardy, Scott Kramer
Writers: Lem Dobbs
Features: Filmmaker's Commentary - Steven Soderbergh (Director), Lem Dobbs (Writer); 60's Documentary - Terence Stamp, Peter Fonda, Lesley Ann Warren, Barry Newman and Joe Dallesandro; 5.1 Dolby Digital/Dolby Surround; Trailer and TV Spots; Isolated Music Score; Production Notes; Technical Specifications; Cast and Crew Information
Wilson - Terence Stamp
Ed Roel - Luis Guzman
Terry Valentine - Peter Fonda
"The Limey" has a great plot, if only it could hurry up and tell it. For a movie that is 89 minutes, it seems to drag on for eternity! Steven Soderbergh does a fine enough job, but his over-stylized directing starts to wear on you right from the start. Taking a great action story like "The Limey" and transferring it into a drama was just bad form. It's like making "Rambo" fit the pace of "Howard's End." It is just not supposed to be that way.
The DVD itself is well done with lots of special features. The commentaries are interesting enough, but you have to suffer through the movie again to hear it. Maybe you should not even bother. Artisan did a great job with the sound and picture as I have no complaints, but the movie is just plain dull.
The premise is actually an exciting one, with Wilson (Terence Stamp from "Billy Bud"), a British ex-con, searching for the reason his daughter "accidentally" died. He goes on a rampage to find the ex-boyfriend whom he holds responsible and to carry out his vendetta. He meets up with an old friend of his daughter's, Ed (played by the underappreciated Luis Guzman), who helps him locate Terry Valentine (Peter Fonda - "Ulee's Gold") the music promoter who was the ex-boyfriend. Wilson is convinced that Valentine is the source to the mystery of why his daughter died. Meanwhile, there are drugs and conspiracy involved as well.
This of course all sounds thrilling. Unfortunately, the director saw fit to make this some art job and have flash cuts put in throughout the film. Maybe there are people that actually enjoyed this (though I warn epileptics from viewing this!!), but it just gave me a headache. And if I had to see one more shot of Wilson scowling on the plane, I was going to throw a rock at the screen. It was so unnecessary to have all the flash forwards and flashbacks mixed in with the present time. If it was actually supposed to enhance the film, it failed in its effort. The flashcuts bogged down what could have been an entertaining action film into a soppy mess.
Now don't misunderstand my disgust with the direction of the film, with the actors' performance. All actors involved in this film were superb. Terence Stamp played a great limey in my opinion, using that stilted Cockney vernacular that you have heard in "Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Ocean's Eleven." No, the actors did their job, but Soderbergh failed them by chopping up their dialogue into flashcuts that would make MTV jealous. The pacing of the film, which is the director's responsiblity, was so slow that I have to warn viewers that they need to be patient to make it through the movie.
I would rate this film 2 stars out of 5, with a note of warning that this movie can drain the energy from you. Do not watch this movie and operate large machinery!! That said, the story is good and so is the acting. It's too bad that such a great director as Soderbergh ("Traffic" and "Erin Brockovich") would ruin a potentially good film with artsy tactics. Consider yourself warned about this film!