The Limey

Bomb Rating: 

In case you were wondering, all those vengeance-obsessed guys in the world of film are crabby for a reason: they've misplaced their first names. Lee Marvin's character in "Point Blank" was simply called Walker. In "Payback," Mel Gibson was Porter. Now, in Steven Soderbergh's "The Limey," Terence Stamp is Wilson, out to avenge his daughter's death.

Soderbergh employs a common arthouse film technique, commonly known as "Let's confuse the crap out of everybody with wacky editing." Steven's bag of shtick includes flashing forward and backward in time, filming people's faces while they have voice-overs, and cutting abruptly into scenes in the middle of characters' dialogue. Presently, you begin to wonder whether the concessionaire accidentally slipped you a heaping cup of Robitussin over crushed ice instead of Pepsi.

The goal of Wilson's quest is to find out what happened to his daughter, an answer he expects to find from the mouth of Valentine (Peter Fonda), a music producer with whom she was involved. Basically, he kicks a lot of ass until he gets close enough to Valentine to ask him. Wilson finds assistance from Ed (Luis Guzman) and Elaine (Lesley Ann Warren) in his quest.

After a lot of searching and dealing with DEA guys and Valentine's security guy, who means to have Wilson snuffed out, Soderbergh initiates his finale utilizing complete coincidence. It's typical bad storytelling where the writer can't figure out a sensible way to get from point A to point B, so he invents point A-and-1/2. To make matters worse, Fonda never even gets a can of whup-ass opened on him. Wilson could have at least had the decency to beat him to a pulp for his involvement in "Escape from L.A."

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