Pssst, want to check out The Limey in our new look?
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Just a reminder that if you're watching this for the New Cult Canon list entry, technically the entry is for the commentary track for the film between Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Lem Dobbs. Just pointing that out for all the completionists out there.
Steven Soderbergh's The Limey has a simple revenge story - a Cockney father just out of prison comes to America to find his daughter's killer - but it's infinitely more interesting than that thanks to perspicacious casting and bravura editing. First, it's really a movie about the 60s and how its ideals have failed. Many of the actors are icons from the 60s and 70s, taking their personae to their logical conclusions. Terence Stamp and Peter Fonda are particularly good, but I can't fault anyone in the cast. In true indy film tradition, every character has his or her eccentricities, begging questions that aren't answered. Through a kind of fractured editing, the film acts as a memory, revealing information in non-linear fashion, and I love that. It even uses scenes from an early Stamp movie in flashback fashion, and seamlessly at that. The resulting confusion never lasts and actually ramps up the tension. I can't believe this movie isn't better known.
Another underrated masterpiece by Soderbergh following a conventional action plot in an unconventional manner. Applying his jazzy style, further developed with Haywire, we are enjoying delicate brutality during his typical, and highly entertaining, musings on causality. Stamp devours the scenery with his ultra-cool character and we are treated to hilarious dialogue throughout. Worth a watch for anyone fed up with current attempts at action-comedies.
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In 4 official lists
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This movie ranks #50 in A.V. Club's The New Cult Canon
This movie ranks #265 in Jennifer Eiss's 500 Essential Cult Movies
This movie ranks #524 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
This movie ranks #538 in TSPDT's 1,000 Noir Films