A real ass-kicker of a film The Limey is, isn’t it? Beautifully shot and masterfully edited (by Sarah Flack), like a lot of great films, The Limey has several good things going for it. I’m in a list mood, so I’ll just do that.
Mamma mia! Debra Zane is the smart person behind getting Terrence
Stamp, Peter Fonda and Barry Newman to all appear in a film together.
Seriously, that’s some fucking 60s zeitgeist right there. Spot on
choices. Furthermore, having Luis Guzmán as the sidekick was a very
good idea. Talk about an odd couple. Guzmán has long been one of my
favorite character actors and he is capable of rising to the level of
those around him, sometimes going over the top. Unfortunately, if the
movie stinks, so does he. Still, I love the guy. Amelia Heinle, who
plays Fonda’s love interest, is so attractive that I’d suck her daddy’s
cock just to see where she came from (thanks, Doc). However, even
though she is sitting in a bathtub 98% of the time she’s on screen, we
never see more than her shoulder blades. Lame. Continuing, the real
coup of all coups casting-wise was the fantastic inclusion of the great
Bill Duke as the head DEA dude. In three minutes, Duke steals the movie
out from under all the other actors. Why doesn’t this guy get more
work? Also, in a film liberally peppered with great lines, one of his
is the best; “I don’t give a shit about the money. Personally? I prefer
Holy shit is there is a lot of ass-kicking taking going on in The Limey.
First of all, Nicky Katt was pretty cruel as Stacy the hitman. His
retard sidekick was no schlub, either. They don’t get to do much
ass-kicking, but the little we see is brutal. In a pool hall, Stacy and
his buddy are arguing with these two dudes about who gets to break.
Stacy finally says, “I’d tell you to blow it out your ass, but my
dick’s in the way.” What a line! One of the dudes makes a move towards
Stacy and BAM, he gets hit in the back of the head with a pool
cue. As he drops to his knees, Stacy smashes him in the face with a
knee. Great shit. Also, during the finale shootout, Stacy’s sidekick
shoots a bodyguard in the ankle, crumpling him to the ground. He then
shoots him in the arm. Pleading for his life, the wounded man cries,
“Don’t! I’m a friend of Stacy’s!” Which is answered with, “Shut the
fuck up, Tom.” Oh, and then a he kills him.
But, really, The Limey is about Terrance Stamp as a one man wrecking crew. Fucking Ruthless.
We first see his ferocity when Wilson (Stamp) breaks into a warehouse
where his daughter had confronted some men before she died. He does one
of those great smashes-the guys-head-into-the desk jobs that you only
get to see in movies. The guy’s goons pull him off and begin roughing
Wilson up. Then, the smashed-face guy works him over. Daunted? Hardly.
With an animal like growl his smashes the guy in the nuts. The goons
then kick his ass out of the warehouse and dump him in the street.
Daunted? You know where this is going. Wilson gets back to his feet and
with more swagger than Mick Jagger at his best, saunters back into the
warehouse and slaughters four men in ten seconds. Even more awesome is
that we don’t see a thing. We hear it. The camera never budges.
Then, a kid comes running out of the warehouse — the only survivor —
and Wilson follows him out, a gun in each hand, bellowing, “Tell ’em
I’m coming! Tell ’em I’m fucking coming!!!” Badass shit.
In a comedic twist, Wilson dispenses with Terry Valentine’s (Fonda)
bodyguard by first head-butting him and then tossing the
four-hundred-pound man off a railing to his death. What’s so great
about this shot is that the camera is inside Valentine’s house looking
at the action through a window while guests mill about at a party.
Valentine sees the big man drop from the corner of his eye, but really
he only catches a shadow. What he does see is Wilson straighten his
jacket and begin walking back towards the house. Wilson then jumps in
the car with Eduardo (Guzmán) and go tearing off down the hill. Avery
(always a treat to watch Barry Newman behind the wheel
of a car) is in hot pursuit. Aftera bit, Avery smashes his car into
theirs. Then he jumps out with a shotgun and starts blasting. Very
cool. But, one million times cooler is Wilson’s response. From the
passenger seat, he throw’s the car into reverse, mashes the gas and
very nearly mashes Avery against his own car. The impact sends Avery’s
Mercedes tumbling over a cliff and Avery himself is forced to slink
away into the bushes. Then Wilson gets out of the car, .357 in hand and
is going to shoot Avery point blank. Eduardo talks him out of it. And
the ending, well… let’s just say this: at the end of the flick,
Valentine is shooting at Wilson and the bastard doesn’t even break
stride. He just keeps sneering and coming.
You know what? I’m late and it’s tired. I could go on and on singing The Limey’s
praises, but it is sufficient for me to end it here. The trifecta of
Stamp, Newman and Fonda is a wonder and not to be missed. Additionally,
Stamp’s heavy cockney accent is a joy to listen to. Stuff like:
Wilson: I’m gonna ‘ave a “butcher’s” round the house.
Eduardo: Who you gonna butcher?
Wilson: Butcher’s hook… look.
…is just fantastic. Lem Dobbs, who penned this (and oddly, Dark City)
made the whole film snap in a totally satisfying way. Wilson’s
“colorful” expressions in lesser hands would have been a reoccurring
joke that no one would want to hear. Not so here. I remember when I
first saw this film, I watched it twice in a row; literally
back-to-back. There are only a handful of films I can say that about.
Treat yourself to this one.