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The Limey Reviews

Its cool, sleekly beautiful surface lying lightly over a story boiling with casual cruelty and festering unhappiness, this intelligent, oddly aloof thriller is a worthy follow-up to director Steven Soderbergh's OUT OF SIGHT. English hard case Wilson (Terence Stamp) is a man profoundly out of his element. A career criminal who's just been released from prison, he's come to Los Angeles to investigate the death of his estranged daughter Jennifer (Melissa George). Thinking it the decent thing to do, Jennifer's friend Ed (Luis Guzman) sent the still-imprisoned Wilson a newspaper clipping about the auto accident that apparently took Jennifer's life. But the brooding, congenitally suspicious Wilson convinces himself that her death was murder, and ropes Ed into his single-minded quest to find out who's responsible and make him (or them) pay. The trail leads to Jennifer's much older boyfriend Valentine (Peter Fonda), a hugely successful record producer whose dark secrets are laid bare by Wilson's relentless and increasingly brutal search for the truth. Woven into this fairly straightforward revenge story is the gradual disclosure of Wilson's relationship with Jennifer, and the film's stroke of genius is its use of clips from Ken Loach's 1968 film POOR COW, in which Stamp played a gentle, feckless young thief. The juxtaposition of that 20-year-old footage with Stamp's complex, beautifully shaded performance as an embittered older man looking to justify his misspent life by avenging the daughter he drove away is simply heartbreaking.