Saturday, May 14, 2011

[EUFF11] Perrier's Bounty

Taking Aim

My decision to watch this stemmed from the star power of Cillian Murphy, if not then I would have approached English/Irish crime thrillers with a little apprehension as most somehow come across as Guy Ritchie wannabes, or follow a dark and gritty formula that gets quite tired after a while. London Boulevard was a little underwhelming with a sprawling narrative that got nowhere, and in some ways Perrier's Bounty didn't quite leave a favourable impression.

Granted the film boasts great character actors, from Murphy as the down and out protagonist Michael McCrea, Jim Broadbent as his dad Jim, and Jodie Whittaker as the hot next door neighbour Brenda who all get embroiled in Michael's affairs with the titular gangster Darren Perrier (Brendan Gleeson, whom is probably known to worldwide audiences better for his role as Mad-Eye Moody in the Harry Potter franchise), when they inevitably knock off two of the latter's foot soldiers when they come knocking violently to get back money owed, and a bounty is declared on Michael and the group which runs its course in an overnight tale of hunter versus prey.

The better parts of the film come from the incredibly chemistry that Murphy and Broadbent share as son and father, especially when they got introduced in the film not really speaking or on good terms, but for the inevitable improvement when Jim's death sentence by way of a medical condition gets made known, and the wicked modus operandi of Perrier coming into play. The complimentary romance subplot was credible between Michael and Brenda, but you just know it had to give way to more pressing survival issues on hand, especially when Perrier demonstrates why he is not to be trifled with. That of course gives way to plenty of scenes with graphic violence, which to a modern audience is something already quite numbing if the intention is to shock.

Still, director Ian Fitzgibbon keeps Mark O'Rowe's story moving at incredible pace, set against an eclectic soundtrack, but alas it is the pace that doesn't allow for the film to breathe and give a little bit more dimension to the characters, especially the villains who come across as pretty one dimensional goons out for blood and constantly cursing through their limited vocabulary. It's touted to be a comedy, but unless you have a ear for thick Irish accents, then most of the verbal jibes would probably have gone unheard, which is a pity since I would have loved it if it was subtitled to assist non native English speakers.

Perrier's Bounty lacked a certain X-factor to its rather bland storyline, which had the actors to thank for making it a lot more enjoyable if not for their presence, since you're likely to be able to stay ahead of plot developments, which spell mediocre and average.

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