Terence Stamp stars as a lower-class English bloke named Wilson who’s right off a ten-year prison stint and comes to Los Angeles to avenge his daughter’s death under “mysterious circumstances”. Suspicions lead him to Terry Valentine (Peter Fonda), a wealthy music producer with whom his daughter lived. He goes about tracking him down, despite Valentine’s top security and obvious connections to drug dealings, bumping heads with thugs and cops all the way..
The film by Steven Soderbergh (“sex,lies & videotape”, “Out of Sight”) is an experiment in non-traditional filmmaking. Don’t expect a classic story structure here – it’s odd editing, numerous repetitive shots, one person’s dialogue over scenes of another, flashbacks and even flashforwards. Past and present constantly collide to bring about an engaging film with excellent acting by Stamp.
Nothing in Soderbergh’s technique is really confusing, but by the same token, one must ask, ‘what’s the point?’ I’m not sure there is one. It’s simply the technique he chose for this film.
The film also utilizes extensive footage of Terence Stamp in a film from his younger days called “Poor Cow” (1967). It fit perfectly. This technique seems to be catching on in Hollywood these days; they did the same thing with Kirk Douglas in his film “Diamonds”. Also, be aware there is quite a bit of English slang in the film, some quite funny. Whether you get it or not, you won’t be confused with events so don’t worry.
Interest was maintained throughout the film and I thought Peter Fonda was quite good, unlike in “Ulee’s Gold”, which was an acting disaster even though some jokers at the Academy of Arts & Sciences nominated him for an Academy Award for that.
It’s a classic revenge tale only in this case, you have one career criminal (Wilson) pursuing another (Valentine), only Valentine is not the kind of guy who likes to gets his hands dirty; he leaves that for his underlings, mainly his “security Chief”, the sleazy Avery (Barry Newman).
Also featured are Lesley Ann Warren and Luis Guzman.
Lotta says “The Limey” is intriguing!