09 April, 2014

The Limey: A Play in Three Rhyming Acts

I was going to write an entry on Ground Zeroes and then maybe Tomb Raider or, at least the Bioshock Infinite DLC. Instead I finally watched The Limey. Top notch relevant stuff on this blog and nothing but!

If you had to compare The Limey with a 1960's crime film-- and I think that we do-- It's much more Performance than it is Get Carter. Saying that now I realize that's exactly the kind of revenge movie the guy who made King of the Hill would make. It's soft and it's odd and it isn't quite what I was looking for. And that isn't a bad thing.

Instead of being this drama driven by anger and spite, it instead circles around the idea of a revenge film without ever actually becoming one. It takes this dreamy, scenic route through the margins of Hollywood and Los Angeles, and through the journey of an emotionally unstable man, and, yet, in the end, it ends up in the exact same place as a Death Wish or any other revenge movie (and, thankfully, without the cliche at the end about how violence never solved anything and "dig two graves" and blah blah blah).

There's a shoot out, there's catharsis, there's bloody resolution. In the end there's all the things you want, but they aren't the same because of the jounrey you took to get there.The Limey is a different kind of movie-- and I don't mean from a thriller, I mean from all movies. It's an odd duck, The Limey. It's probably why I'm so tepid on it. I can't be too enthusiastic about it because I'm still not sure what it is.

The one thing it does really well is shoot LA in a way that doesn't look like any other film I can think of. Well, maybe White Dog. There's a lot of LA mountains in both of these movies. Lots of scrub land.

It isn't glitzy and it isn't glamorous and it isn't the usual heap of B-roll of the western end of Melrose or Sunset. It isn't involved with Hollywood. There is nothing on parade for the tourists. Hollywood, though, touches on the fringes of this world. And like downtown LA in the background of Valentine's apartment, it's a hazy place many, many miles away.

You know what's a slightly better Terrance Stamp road/crime movie? The Hit. I don't remember too much about that one, but I do remember it being pretty good. I'd bet money that Steven Soderbergh feels the same way.

As for artsy genre movies and Steven Soderbergh movies go see Haywire. It's got a solid cast, a plot that doesn't get in the way of some serious ass kicking, and seems to embrace its genre far more than The Limey does.

I'm off to watch Le Duexieme Souffle next. It's a Jean-Pierre Melville movie, so it can only be so bad. I've also had Out of Sight sitting on top of my player for about a month, so maybe I'll finally get around to cracking that one. . . Plus I still have to watch Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill!

Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, somebody make a Performance sequel. Set in in the present. Someone get James Fox and Mick Jagger on the phone. Let's hash this thing out while I still think this isn't a terrible fucking idea.



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