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Movie review: 'Perrier's Bounty'

Cillian Murphy plays a man in trouble with Brendan Gleeson's gangster in Ian FitzGibbon's Dublin underworld tour.

June 04, 2010|By Gary Goldstein, Special to the Los Angeles Times

You've seen it all before in movies by Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino and every imitator in between. And yet, taken on its own merits, the dark Irish crime comedy "Perrier's Bounty," directed by Ian FitzGibbon, proves a fast-paced and enjoyable if violent diversion that revels in its quirky characters, committed performances and involving twists.

Anchored by an energetic turn by the versatile Cillian Murphy ("Red Eye," "28 Days Later") as Michael, a "perpetual waster" with a ticking clock on his debt to scary gangster Darren Perrier ( Brendan Gleeson), the film rarely allows plot to trump personality, furthering keeping us tethered to Michael's wild ride through the Dublin underworld.

As Jim, Michael's estranged, teetering father who shows up just as his beleaguered son is stepping into quicksand, Jim Broadbent brings a wonderfully absurdist flair to the mayhem, once again proving himself one of England's national acting treasures. Scripter Mark O'Rowe ("Intermission," the excellent "Boy A") piles on dad's foibles, mostly based on Jim's perhaps not-so-unfounded fear he will die if he falls asleep, which Broadbent brings to life with his usual unself-conscious verve.

Jodie Whittaker rounds out the vivid lead cast as Michael's recently dumped, suicidal neighbor whose moment of hasty gunplay irrevocably complicates Michael's evasion of the vengeful, though hardly one-dimensional Perrier.

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