The Limey (1999) Movie Review

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: Lem Dobbs (Screenplay)

Starring: Terence Stamp, Lesley Ann Warren, Luis Guzman, Barry Newman, Joe Dallesandro, Peter Fonda, Nicky Katt, Melissa George

Plot: An extremely volatile and dangerous Englishman goes to Los Angeles to find the man he considers responsible for his daughter’s death.

Tagline – Vengeance knows no boundaries.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Poorly Shot Thriller

Story: The Limey starts when volatile Englishman Wilson (Stamp) heads to LA after receiving news from Eduardo Roel (Guzman) about the news of his daughter Jenny’s (George) death, Wilson wants answers and starts to investigate the man believed to be behind it Terry Valentine (Fonda).

As Wilson doesn’t take long to get close to Terry, he finds himself being put on a hitlist by his fixer Jim Avery (Newman), with the personal battle between the two, with Wilson refusing to stop before getting revenge.

Thoughts on The Limey

Characters – Wilson is a violent English criminal who has spent time in prison for violent crimes, he is a free man now, which sees him travel to America in search for information behind his daughter’s death. He isn’t going to go down quietly and wants to get the message across personally in his attempt to get revenge on the person he believes was behind her death. Terry Valentine is the record producer that Wilson is targeting, he lives in the hilltop looking down on the city with his latest project on his arm, he lets Jim deal with his problems. Jim Avery is the fixer for Terry, he has the connections to solve problems, he doesn’t explain how, he just gets things done for him. Elaine is the only friend of Jenny’s Wilson meets, she explains how things were around the town, giving him somebody to talk to about the situation.

PerformancesTerence Stamp is the highlight of the film as the relentless father who wants the truth, he brings confidence to every scene, where his character is the most important part of every scene. Peter Fonda as the record producer playboy works well with the rest of the cast never looking completely out of place.

StoryThe story follows a criminal who wants revenge for the death of his daughter, which sees him investigating her life before getting involved with a battle against a record producer. The story is the easy revenge idea, nothing wrong with that, we get the flashbacks to the memories with the daughter, which all work well. When it comes to how the story is shot, we are left with most of the problems, it feels very jerky, nothing seems to focus on what is going on in each scene, with the conversation sequences almost showing the endless pauses, rather than giving us a proper conversation. It does feel like the story is trying to be more down to Earth and grittier than a flashy revenge thriller.

Crime/MysteryThe crime side of this film follows the criminal willing to do anything to solve the mystery about his daughter, in the criminal underworld.

SettingsThe film is set in LA, which does show the luxury like Jenny would have been living in and how the different levels of people will be living in while there.

Scene of the Movie – The showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The Cockney rhyming slang is bad.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller that brings a grittier approach to revenge, only to find itself poorly shot even if the cast doesn’t put a foot wrong.

Overall: Gritty Thriller.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – L – Like Father, Like Son (2013) Movie Review

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda

Writer: Hirokazu Koreeda (Screenplay)

Starring: Masaharu Fukuyama, Machiko Ono, Yoko Maki, Lily Franky, Keita Ninomiya, Shogen Hwang

Plot: Ryota is a successful workaholic businessman. When he learns that his biological son was switched with another boy after birth, he faces the difficult decision to choose his true son or the boy he and his wife have raised as their own.

Tagline – At what point does a father truly become a father?

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Like Father, Like Son starts as workaholic businessman Ryota (Fukuyama) and his wife Midori (Ono) get the shocking news their son Keita (Ninomiya) was swapped by accident at birth, the couple get to meet the couple Yukari (Maki) and Yudai (Franky) who have raised their son Ryusei (Hwang) in a different environment, with both couple facing the difficult decision on whether to swap the children back after creating memories and emotional bonds with them.

We follow both sides as they go through the legal consequences of what happened and look to make the final decision about their own son’s futures.

Thoughts on Like Father, Like Son

Characters – Ryota is the workaholic businessman that has given his family a secure good life with his commitment to his work, which at times means time away from his family, but he will always make time for his son, when he learns the news, he turns to his lawyer in an attempt to try and adopt them both, trying to use his position of money to solve the problem. Midori is Ryota wife who has an emotional bond with their son, she does feel guilt for not knowing it wasn’t her son, and is willing to try an exchange idea, but isn’t comfortable about giving up their son. Yukari and Yudai are the parents that have been raising the other son, they come from a small business family, where the boy is raised with siblings, without the luxuries that Keita has been living with, they do have a much more joint hands on approach to the parenting process.

PerformancesMasaharu Fukuyama in the leading role is brilliant, he brings us a man that believes he has everything, only to show how it is slowly falling apart in front of his eyes, needing to find the love a parent would have for a child. Machiko Ono shows us how the mother would feel about the change in her life, with Yoko Maki and Lily Franky showing us a different approach to the parenthood approach.

StoryThe story here follows a couple that learn their babies were swapped at the hospital and now they are left with the difficult decision on whether to continue living in the pain of raising someone else’s child or swap the children back only to confuse them about who their real parents are. This is a story that will ask the ultimate question, that will test parenthood to a new level, nobody should be put through, shown in a such complex way, where ever decision is going to change the way everyone involved will live their lives. Such an important story, that almost feels like the best thing to do, would have to not tell anyone the truth and let them all live their lives without knowing the truth.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the different lives both families have, one is well off, where they can afford the luxuries in life, while the other runs a small shop but feel like they are closer.

Scene of the Movie – The final shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing.

Final Thoughts Like Father, Like Son is a beautifully told movie that will give us the ultimate question about parenthood, through a impossible decision.