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Blast from the Past Movie Review – “The Limey” (1999)

February 5, 2012

I’m quite ashamed of myself, I call myself a Steven Soderbergh fan, and I’ve NEVER seen nor even heard of “The Limey”. This weeks Blast from the Past Movie Review came from a suggestion by my buddy Dylan. He kept egging me on and on about “The Limey” for weeks now, so I naturally Netflix’d it, and to my surprise I loved it!

The film follows a very angry British ex-con, Wilson (Terence Stamp), whose daughter was found dead in Los Angeles. Wilson ventures over to the States to find the man responsible for his daughter’s death, Hollywood criminal Terry Valentine (Peter Fonda). Wilson teams up with some people who knew his daughter to find Valentine and strike where it will hurt him the most.

While the story isn’t all what it’s cracked up to be, being a typical revenge plot, the real drive from the movie comes from Stamps monstrous performance. He’s mean, volatile, and extremely dangerous. It’s fun to watch his character imagine what he’ll do next and the different ways he could kill a man. The most notable scene would be the sequence where Wilson comes out of some goons hideout, blood smeared on his face, and yells out, “…you tell him I’m FUCKING COMING!” Bone chilling.

Soderbergh just finished “Out of Sight” a year before “The Limey”, so it’s easy to see that he’s a fan of the crime genre. “Out of Sight” was more of a beautiful opera of a crime story; the transition into “The Limey” could only be described as an old school hard rock version of a crime story. Soderbergh’s beautiful cinematography is very present here, his notable change in color temp always makes his films eye candy for all. The editing is extremely fun to watch, with the constant flashbacks, flash-forwards, and quick flashes in general.

“The Limey” is a first-rate crime thriller and a perfect reminder that Stephen Soderbergh is one of our great contemporary film stylists. Crafted with eccentric moodiness, “The Limey” is a gritty neo-noir showcase for the talent of leading man that is Terence Stamp!

GRADE: A-

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