An all-time favorite.,
This review is from: The Limey (DVD)
When you first encounter The Limey, you may not think much of it. The edit is unconventional if you're primarily used to major studio films. It's got a loose feel to the cinematography, like most Soderbergh films. It's not a slick, modern, hyperkinetic production. It's an episode in the midlife crisis of people who thought they'd die before they got old.
However, these things that may make it somewhat less accessible at first heighten its appeal on future viewings. Characters are introduced with a brief montage -- almost like you'd see on a TV show title sequence. The edit weaves conversations together in ways that don't seem logical at first.
The Limey isn't a film about logic or cold, hard, objective fact. It's a highly subjective retelling of the events that make up the story -- apparently from the view of Terence Stamp's character on his way home. It exists in the memories of those involved -- memories of Stamp's visit to Los Angeles to sort out the death of his daughter; memories of his past. For Peter Fonda, memories of southern California in the '60s and past glory.
This reflective memory form influences the cinematography -- things take on a sun-drenched, yellow/orange hue that is not dissimilar to your childhood memories. The soundtrack, too, calls back to days past with its music mostly coming from the 60s. (It's one of the best soundtracks in a long time).
One of the most impressive scenes is a dialog between Stamp and Lesley Ann Warren. The scene plays in many different places -- a pier, an apartment, and so forth. The scene jumps between them, and were you to take it at face value, it would make no sense. But when you remember that the whole film is just a memory, it makes complete sense.
The Limey is an innovative movie, mostly because of its unconventional approach to what would have otherwise been a flat revenge picture. You'll either be turned off immediately or strangely curious. I hope it's the latter for you -- it's a very interesting movie with great performances by all involved. It's one of my absolute essential DVDs.