Possibly the worst edited and directed film since Zabriskie Point. Flash forwards, flash backwards, flash bloody sideways; slow-mo, fast-mo, every cliché in the book. Result? Confused irritation on the viewer's part. Two stars only because I'm feeling generous and because the excess of gratuitous violence made me giggle.
A tightly well made moody crime drama/thriller centered on a man (played savagely by Terrence Stamp) seeking vengeance after the presumed accidental death of his daughter. This tale is told in an incredible and different way than most films of the genre. Steven Soderbergh is such a unique and versatile filmmaker and this film should be praised way more. Still, I get why it doesn't work for some viewers.
I'm not big on this experimental editing style. The story would have gained by having the nihilist gravitas of movies like Night Moves or Point Blank. Still, Soderbergh is a master of his craft and the truth is that The Limey offers a powerful trio of exquisite photography, performance and score.
The cinematography of the Limey is what strikes me as what I consider to be ultra 90's. Reminds me of a lot of nice stuff from back then, but with the added bonus of the non-linear sound/shots. Other than that it's a nice genre film, great watch for most people most of the time.
Soderbergh's trademark efficiency in this late 90s gem is all too evident when characters are reduced to their basic essence (Peter Fonda's villain is "evil" because he's devoid of good; Terence Stamp's ex-con from England has only one plan: find the villain, make him suffer, smoke cigarettes). When screenwriter Lem Dobbs pursued Robert Aldrich to direct, he ignored Dobbs. Soderbergh, instead, ennobles his script.
Steven Soderbergh's follow-up to the brilliant Elmore Leonard adaptation, Out of Sight, is another powerful crime film with a strong comedic streak running throughout the film. From the great script written by Lem Dobbs that brings great dialogue and humour and Soderbergh's thrilling, competent direction to Terrence Stamp's flawless performance, bringing a natural wit to the story, The Limey is a must-watch.
Great 70's Peckinpah revenge throwback. Stamp is a blast to watch as he chews the scenery in a borderline over the top, bravura performance. Fonda is wonderful, the embodiment of laid back smarmy California cool. Not enough to hook you? OK, then just watch it for the sublime editing and photographic compositions. Soderbergh might have made more "important" films, but non this fun.
The Limey is one of those smaller great movies not a lot of people know about. It starts off damn strong but loses some steam by the end and is drenched in Soderberghness all throughout. (Namely the incredibly creative Poor Tom... samples used for the flashbacks) Terence Stamps voice seemed too refined and regal for the Cockney thing but he was great nonetheless. The warehouse scene alone is worth the watch.