"Thus open the gates of paradise."

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The Limey

06 Apr 2002

I really like Stephen Soderbergh's films. He did "Sex, Lies, and Videotape", "Kafka", "The Underneath". Maybe you've heard of them. I'll bet you haven't heard of "Schizopolis", though. He did that too. Fabulous good fun. Disjoint and inexplicably funny, it's a great ride, though I imagine those people who think "Toy Story" is a challenging film that works on "many levels" would not be interested.

"The Limey" is this year's outing for Soderbergh, and it's a keeper. Terence Stamp plays a British man called Wilson who comes to California to find out how his daughter died. That he's been at his Majesty's pleasure for the last couple of years lends his character a fair bit of edge that you can see coming around the block. I've never had much time for Stamp, having last seen him in one of the "Superman" movies, but here he commands your attention every second he's on screen. Is it the stare? The determination? Or the freedom that a complete lack of fear can lend a man?

One of the things that makes this such a fascinating film to watch is the way the story is told, which is all at once. Or not at all, depending on whether you're one of these people who see empty or full glasses of water. You see bits of the story sometimes in order, sometimes backtracking, other times not. It left me with the feeling that I'd been watching the whole movie all at once, for about 90 minutes. It could have been crap, but Soderbergh pulls it off nicely. It's good to see someone who's willing to do something unusual (and make it work).

And you get a quick lesson in Cockney rhyming slag. All for the price of a movie.

Related Sites

The Limey (Official web site)
The Limey (IMDB)
Schizopolis (IMDB)