Dialogue alone has the ability to make a movie better, or worse, regardless of anything else that happens onscreen. If dialogue is bad and distracting, it’ll take the viewer out of the movie fast, and it’s all downhill from there; however, if the dialogue is superbly written, and from there perfectly delivered, an entire movie can rise around it and become more entertaining than it otherwise had any right to be. This is the case in Perrier’s Bounty, a film where the dialogue is the star, and the actors are the supporting cast that help it shine bright.
The film stars Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins, Sunshine) as Michael, a guy who is in debt $1000 to Perrier (Brendan Gleeson), the local mob boss, but is so down on his luck, that as he puts it, “it might as well be a mil.” He only has a few hours to pay his debt before a couple of thugs break two bones of his choice (fingers and toes don’t count) to show how serious their boss is about getting his money back. Of course, nothing can be that simple, so throw on top of that Michael getting involved in a robbery with another loan shark in order to get the money he owes in the first place, his estranged father (Jim Broadbent) showing up proclaiming that Death told him that the next time he falls asleep he’s going to die, and the fact that his best friend Brenda (Jodie Whittaker) is incredibly depressed after being dumped by her cheating boyfriend and you get the idea that things will be anything but simple for Michael in his debt repayment journey.
The movie comes in at a lean 88 minutes, which serves it well, as director Ian Fitzgibbon keeps a slick pacing throughout, never letting the witty repartee wear out its welcome. The story is a mix of wacky, serious, and heartfelt moments, and while they all mesh quite well together, that’s not to say that the film is without any problems. There are times when things just seem a bit unlikely to happen, or seem to be a bit too opportune in terms of allowing the story to progress. The fun part of these movies, where so much is happening to one person all at once, is how it all comes full circle in the final act. While that’s always ideal, wrapping up loose ends and get everyone involved, even in a movie that is both illogical and logical at the same time, you’d like to think that an idea could have been thought up, especially for the final act, that wasn’t so unbelievably convenient.
As stated earlier, the true star of the film is the dialogue, which flows throughout in witty banter between characters so perfectly, in a way that people just don’t really talk, yet at the same time, it’s so well written that you believe that these characters really do. It comes across incredibly well, and this film has got to have set a record for the most times the word “man” has been used.
While dialogue can take top spot, without proper delivery it can fall flat, no matter how well written. The cast in Perrier’s Bounty is filled with some great actors who really feed off the script and help make the movie as enjoyable as it is. Murphy continues to be an actor that should get bigger roles, but for some reason just can’t be justified to be the lead in a film outside of the independent scene. Whittaker is also a quite entertaining as Michael’s best mate, as it’s sometimes hard to pull off being crazy and irrational without turning the audience against you. Instead, she finds a way to make her character endearing and fun to have around. Gleeson is also in top form as Darren Perrier, with some great deliveries, and one fantastic scene between him and his crew when he finds out two of them are gay lovers.
Deserving of an entire section of the review is the work done by Jim Broadbent, who easily steals the show as Michael’s father Jim. When he explains to Michael that the next time he falls asleep, he’ll die, as that’s what Death told him, we’re not sure how to take it; however, soon after, some of the funniest moments come out of his carefree attitude now that he knows the end is near. It’s a great performance, and the chemistry he shares with Murphy and Wittaker during their trip together is some of the best stuff in the movie.
While watching Perrier’s Bounty I was reminded of cult movies like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and The Boondock Saints, and I realized that while it may not be entirely on their level, it’s still not bad company to be brought into in reference. Perrier’s Bounty is a witty, fast paced film that is worth watching just for the dialogue and Broadbent alone.
The film has the usual 5.1 Dolby Digital audio aspect, and it sounds good. The dialogue is clear, which is the main part of the film, and there’s nothing more annoying than quiet dialogue and loud background noises, or cut scenes. Luckily, none of that is found here, so that’s a plus. The video also looks good, as there’s really nothing to complain about from my viewing experience. Solid work done all around on this DVD.
MAKING OF – This featurette is just under 15 minutes long, and has the cast and crew talking about the film, and praising writer Mark O’Rowe for his work with the dialogue, and script. It’s not much, but at the same time it’s something. Certain films you expect a lot from in terms of supplying extras, and this wasn’t one of them. A commentary track by Mark O’Rowe and Ian Fitzgibbon may have been nice, but we take what we can get.
If you’re a fan of Guy Ritchie’s earlier works you’ll definitely want to check out Perrier‘s Bounty. It’s a fun, fast, quick-witted talk-fest that comes with a side order of action and romance. It’s one of those movies that you’ll want to see again just to fully take in all that you just saw, and that’s always a sign of a movie worth recommending.
IFC Films presents Perrier‘s Bounty. Directed by: Ian Fitzgibbon. Starring: Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, Jodie Whittaker. Written by: Mark O‘Rowe. Running time: 88 minutes. Rating: R. Released on DVD: September 28, 2010.
Brendan Campbell was here when Inside Pulse Movies began, and he’ll be here when it finishes - in 2012, when a cataclysmic event wipes out the servers, as well as everyone else on the planet other than John Cusack and those close to him. Brendan’s the #1 supporter of Keanu Reeves, a huge fan of popcorn flicks and a firm believer that sheer entertainment can take a film a long way. He currently resides in Canada, where, for reasons stated above, he’s attempting to get closer to John Cusack.