Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Forgot how good ...

... The Limey is.

(Entertainment Weekly with the pic)

It's a small-but-sharp entry on a long list of excellent 1999 releases, a revenge movie whose protagonist (Terence Stamp, above, who's excellent) isn't the bloodthirsty kind, just a curious, rough-talking ex-London gangster who's aiming to get sweet "satisfaction" (his word) on the guy who probably killed his daughter (a record producer played by Peter Fonda).

What separates this one is its script and its craft:

-Directed by Steven Soderbergh before his Traffic/Erin Brockovich blowup in 2000, it's as Soderbergh-minimalist as it gets, with lots of quiet and very few emotion grabs.

-The story unfolds methodically, helping justify an 89-minute runtime for a simple, solitary task: Get the guy who did it.

-The editing is creative, with lines of dialogue stretching over non-matching frames and long speeches broken by well-placed cuts.

-And that dialogue is Tarantino-esque in its cleverness, without being excessive*.

*Those last two elements are visible in this NSFW clip.

Plus ... bonus points for featuring future Soderbergh regular George Clooney in a late as-himself-on-TV interview.

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