General, The

sleeping dog

Heavy Irish accents and blue-collar slang make this film’s dialogue incomprehensive about 75-percent of the time (at least to most Americans). I cranked up the volume to deafening levels and still couldn’t get it so I can’t say I enjoyed the viewing very much.

“The General” is based on the true story of Martin Cahill, an Irish thief who stole over 60-million dollars, escaped prosecution over the years and was eventually done in by the IRA who wanted a piece of his action. It stars Brendan Gleeson as Cahill and Jon Voight as the police officer who moves up in the ranks to inspector, always hoping to get Cahill prosecuted after endless arrests. Voight’s is not a large role and, while sporting an Irish accent, his is the only one you can understand.

Make no mistake. This is not a “Les Miserables” which had human interest and warmth all over it. Cahill is, at one point, described as a “Robin Hood” but there is only one small episode that would indicate his generosity to others. He is seen here as a nasty gangster with few redeeming values, but somehow we feel we’re supposed to have sympathy for this guy who puts on a whimpering act every time he’s caught.

The acting is good all around, but who cares about a story that’s a pain in the neck to get through because you can’t understand what they’re saying?

Lotta says it’s just not worth the effort.