British ex-con Wilson (Terence Stamp) arrives in Los Angeles to investigate the mystery of his daughter's "accidental" death. His prime suspect, the wealthy, heavily guarded, music promoter Terry Valentine (Peter Fonda), ... more »is no easy target. Propelled into an increasingly brutal search for truth, Wilson, with single-mindedness and terrifying precision, moves unstoppably toward revenge.« less
John A. (Jamigo44) from TEANECK, NJ Reviewed on 9/7/2009...
Good, but not great film featuring legendary actor Terence Stamp.
Brilliant direction and performances
Sean Hanley | 04/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I debated over whether or not to give this movie four or five stars-- it seems to me that 5 stars is an overused rating, but I so enjoyed it that in the end I couldn't give it anything but. Now, I must warn that this movie is not for everyone. If non-linear stories confuse you, just forget it, you'll hate "The Limey." It's totally out of order, and the plot is simplistic anyway. But this movie isn't so much telling you a story as it is telling you about the characters. Which is why I would recommend it if you, like me, enjoy character studies. "The Limey" is *not* an action film, it's a character study of a career criminal who will soon be too old to keep up with his lifestyle. And my God, the performances, particularly by Terence Stamp and Peter Fonda are absolutely incredible. Of course, the movie rests on Stamp's performance, being the focus of the film, and he delivers in spades. But not to be overlooked is Fonda, who as something of a doppleganger to Stamp's character, Wilson, is every bit Stamp's equal. Steven Soderbergh's direction is unsurprisingly excellent. Altogether another great movie of 1999."
A Modern Day Film Noir
Bob Thompson | 03/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Steven Soderbergh's follow up to his wonderful 1998 film "Out of Sight" is more understated and subtle than most people might imagine. The Limey is in many respects the closest Hollywood has come in years to filming a modern film noir picture.The main plot of the Limey is of little to no importance. Terence Stamp plays a bitter old Englishmen who comes to LA to seek revenge for his murdered daughter. His pursuit of vengeance eventually leads him to a sleazy record producer, brilliantly played by Peter Fonda.The Limey is a film that revolves around its use of atmosphere. Soderbergh, forever a film geek, uses cuts in time and flashbacks (a constant one to Stamp on a plane) to establish a dark gritty atmosphere which he manages to sustain throughout the whole film. The scripting is a perfect fabrication of a film noir, every character is menacingly constructed to be a worn out tough guy. If anything negative can be said about the film is that it seems to go on a little long. In actuality the film is perfect length but the many scenes without dialogue make it seem longer than it is. Time and time again does Soderbergh cut to shots of Stamp staring into thin air reflecting. It establishes atmosphere wonderfully but if you are looking for a wild ride of an action movie the Limey is not your cup of tea.The Limey is a movie that would be adored by serious film fans but despised by the kind of people who go to the theatre just to watch a fun popcorn movie.If you got this far and you're reading this review then you probably love films."
"Tell me about Jenny," he whispered.
A. C. Walter | Lynnwood, WA USA | 08/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wilson (Terence Stamp) is an aging, but still surprisingly capable, British criminal just released from prison. He travels from the UK to LA and begins looking into his daughter's recent death with a gut feeling that Jenny's car wreck was not an accident. There Wilson meets Jenny's closest friends and asks them all about her life in LA. He soon targets Valentine (Peter Fonda), Jenny's lover, as the obvious culprit. That's the surface of the film, but there is another layer here that turned standard thriller material into sublime art house fare. "The Limey" is very much a visual, cerebral film that moves in spirals and wanders through a labyrinth of moods and lyrical images. The film is finally all about memories, and its climax is an epiphany of memory and of the strange patterns that we fall into in our lives. "The Limey" takes a circuitous approach to the phenomenon of women falling for men like their fathers and bringing their father-daughter baggage along with them. What trouble these relationships are the specific emotional patterns and games people play, which are worked out in great detail between child and parent very early in life. So what happens when you bring all that to a relationship with a new person who doesn't know the rules of your game, doesn't know when you're bluffing or when you're making a serious threat? Well, in a worst case scenario you might just end up dead. And how does it feel, as a parent, to recognize your own handiwork in your child's homespun catastrophe? "The Limey" answers that question with the force of Greek tragedy, and the answer rings true. The film is a rare cinematic accomplishment, achieving both an honest emotional foundation for Wilson's dark epiphany and a web of rich, resonant images that anchor the entire experience in a vivid, dazzling tapestry. "
Bow down and worship the greatness of this film...
Monkey Knuckle Asteroid | 03/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Limey is, quite simply, one of the best movies of last year and possibly one of the best of the revenge noir genre. Terence Stamp and Peter Fonda are mighty gods throwing lightning bolts of nostalgia and regret in a maelstrom of non-linear editing so severe it'll make your eyes water with joy. Movies like this exist to restore your faith in the cinematic process as a whole. The Limey is a big slice of cheesecake to wash down the horrible choking slime of movies like "Payback" Also worth acquiring due to the commentaries, the first being a prolonged, amusing and mixed up argument between soderbergh (god) and lem dobbs (satan) and the second being everyone else. It is quite simply a masterpiece. To ignore it is to turn your back on manna from heaven."
The push that Soderbergh needed towards greatness
Charles W. Gray | San Jose, CA | 09/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I will not pretend this is not my favorite American film ever, it is. I first saw this in the initial theatrical release in 1999. This is the film that made me change my major from marketing to film, and change my goals in business, and life. Now that's an impact on at least one viewer. :-) This is also the film, that I believe pushed Director Steven Soderbergh over the cusp of greatness. Already with an impressive body of work in "Sex, Lies, and Videotape", "Gray's Anatomy", and the outstanding thriller "Out of Sight", here the director applies the sum of his education, and gives you the the single most innovative revenge/crime thriller in American film.
I will touch on the plot briefly as far better writers than I already have well covered it dozens of times over. Terrance Stamp portrays career con Wilson, a cockney Brit who travels to L.A. upon his release to get answers concerning the suspicious "accidental" death of his estranged daughter. Upon arriving he makes contact with his daughters friend Eduardo, wonderfully portrayed by the usually underutilized Luis Guzman, and, voice/acting coach played by Lesley Ann Warren. After cutting through some henchman types who had recently come in contact with Wilson's child, his path of revenge leads to aging 60's icon, record producer Terry Valentine. Valentine is portrayed by the legendary Peter Fonda, who is at his most animated, and sleazy best as the cowardly Valentine.
Everybody in this film is absolutly terrific which is typical of a Soderbergh cast who seems to just bring the best out of a cast like nobody else. One cast member who gets no notice in any of the reviews I have seen is Melissa George who in haunting flashbacks, and Wilson's imagination portrays his daughter Jenny. I cannot give this young lady enough credit for giving such a revealing face to a character only seen in memory, with no voice, with no dialouge. She is beautiful, meloncholy, and unforgettable and manages without ever speaking to give somekind of voice to the voiceless along with another young actress named Michela Gallo who does duties as the young child of Wilson's memories.
The direction of Sodergergh, and most importantly his cutting of the film alongside editor Sarah Flack is imaginitive, and daring. The cut is as chaotic as the memories of a faded conman, who time passed by so long ago would be, yet the direction of this cut is nothing short of masterful. Much like the era the antagonist/protagonist saw thier heyday in, Soderbergh weaves the surreal, with the very real, advances the story, and studies his "hero" in ways that I had never imagined before seeing "The Limey". This film could not have been made without Stamp, and Soderbergh has said as much before. The icon easily outperformed any and every actor in 1999, and got nothing in the way of nominations for this achievement, which I still think a travesty. This is a film with excellent dialouge, but never relies on dialouge to explain, or advance, or develop. The breadth of Wilson's development in our eyes is done for just that, our eyes. Stamp's face, his eyes, his mouth, his body language tell us all we ever need to know. It seems that everybody looks at this as a crime thriller, but really this is human drama, and character study at it's finest.
I've followed Soderbergh for many years, and this was a really fun step in his progession to the director who will soon be tackling Che Guavera in an epic that I had onced hoped to make. But I won't hold it against him :-)
If you want a great work, that you will watch again, and again....go to the top of the page and order this gem.