Recently released London based ex-con, Wilson (Terrance Stamp), is on a mission. You see, he's heard the sad news that his daughter has died in America. And then, when he heads over to there to find out more about this, he then hears three thing from an old friend of his daughters, Ed (Luis Guzman), that makes him mighty mad. (1) That his daughter died in a car accident. (2) That a day prior to her death, Wilson’s daughter was involved in a rebuttal involving her boyfriend’s dubious associates. And (3) That her boyfriend was a well off Musical gigolo called Terry Valentine (Peter Fonda).
OK, so what is Wilson going to do about this then, huh? Well, with this knowledge in mind, Wilson storms over to the warehouse belonging to Valentines dubious associates, and he has a rather brash encounter with these shady looking characters, BANG!
Next, he leaves to meet up with another one of his daughter’s old friends, Elaine (Leslie Ann Warren), whom reluctantly explains to Wilson about his daughter’s life in America, and how Valentine made her life seem more bearable through their association together.
However, I am sure that Valentine could share this self same sentiment, when Wilson and Ed go to visit him at a party his is hosting. And why is that? Does Wilson confront him? POW! Or even Shoot him? BANG! No - he does not. Instead, Wilson just snoops around his house for a bit, and then throws one of his bodyguards off of his parapet, SPLAT!
Now not so long after this transgression, Valentines drug dealing aide, Jim, arranges for a couple of Hitmen to get rid of Wilson. Moreover, when these Hitmen boldly encounter Wilson at Elaine’s place of work, both Wilson and Elaine are arrested by the DEA, and then informed by them of Valentines next move – he’s going to Big Sur to lay low for awhile.
Ohh! That is most probably why what next transpires is a right knees up mother brown all in all. As Bullets fly - Hitmen dies - revelations are revealed - and daughters are appealed.
Listen, I have to admit, that I am bit of a sucker for films such as 'The Limey'. Well, I have always enjoyed ‘fish out of water’ tales you see, one involving a Brit who just carries on in his usual way, whilst at the same time being in a unfamiliar surrounding. Please note, I do not know why I seem to adder to this type of yarn, but I suppose it has something to do with me being in a similar predicament in the past. Granted, I never had to go around shooting people because of the death of a loved one. But still - the sentiment is there - just like the sentiment in this film, which has it spades.
Conceptually, the pretext of this film is just full of part experiences – with the essence of the story about regret, and the through-line about the repercussions of this emotion. Personally speaking, I especially liked how old archive footage of the lead actor – Terrance Stamp – was used to lay down a mythology behind his character, whilst simultaneously giving the whole 'Death Wish' angle a more grounded and natural fee to it.
Moreover, another thing that I liked about this film, was the artistic style that it conformed to – as it had that whole suspense vibe intertwined by the camera movement, and was very reminiscent to Sidney Furies work on 'The Ipcress File'.
All the actors were great too. Luis was his bumbling self – Peter was as swathe as ever – Leslie has that soccer mum thing going on – and Terrance... boy-oh-boy... he gone straight back to his Cockney roots. Here, check out this jovial 'Star Trek' clip to see what I mean...
Now being somewhat of a Cockney myself, it is just brilliant when I saw this portrayed on the big screen in a realistic fashion. Fair dues, I am sure that some of you out there who have watched this film, were wondering what Terrance was going on about half the time.
But not me – it felt just like going home.
However, I am afraid to say that I do have two slight niggles with this film in general. The first one being that this film is not really a ‘who done it’, but more of a ‘how did it happen’ – in a somewhat 'Columbo' fashion. Plus the second one being how the female members of the cast, all seemed to be used at sounding boards so that the main character could convey exposition and back story to.
OK, so this does not impede ‘The Limey’ all that much. Still, it does make it seem somewhat pedestrian in places – especially when Terrance and Ann’s characters were captured by the DEA.
Overall though, this is a great film to watch, and I would recommend it anyone who like a reminiscent type tale full of seventies heavy weights’ and laid-back music. Nice.
THE RATING: B+