Review by Jack Foley
THE Irish gangster movie is fast emerging as a valuable mini genre in its own right, having already delivered such gems as Intermission and In Bruges.
Some of the main components from those two films – writer Mark O’Hare and star Brendan Gleeson – unite for Perrier’s Bounty, an engaging if slight little thriller that offers an undemanding night of fun.
In essence, it’s a simple story but one that benefits from a witty script and some top performances from its excellent cast.
The plot follows Michael (Cillian Murphy) as he attempts to repay a debt to Dublin gangster Darren Perrier (Gleeson) while coping with Brenda (Jodie Whittaker), a suicidal best friend and neighbour, and the sudden re-appearance of his dad (Jim Broadbent), who claims he’ll die the next time he falls asleep.
Matters become complicated further, however, when Brenda accidentally shoots and kills one of Perrier’s henchmen.
While not quite as satisfying or well-rounded as either Intermission or In Bruges, Ian Fitzgibbon’s film has plenty of fine moments, most of which stem from the camaraderie that exists between its central trio of Murphy, Whittaker and Broadbent.
The latter is particularly good as the coffee-bean chewing father, whose weary attempts to defy the Grim Reaper and re-connect with his son, are both amusing and touching in equal measure.
Whittaker, too, gives a nicely shambolic performance as her Brenda veers from feistiness one minute, to emotional wreck the next – while Murphy is a dependable everyman hero.
Gleeson, meanwhile, makes Perrier an appealing, but ultimately obnoxious, presence who rapidly becomes overdue a messy comeuppance.
On the down-side, Fitzgibbon’s direction isn’t always pacy or inspired enough to match O’Hare’s script, while the banter isn’t as funny as that which made In Bruges so quotable.
The mix of laughs and hard-hitting violence can also feel clumsy… but does give rise to at least two gasps.
All in all, though, this is an engaging enough romp of a movie that’s made all the more worthwhile by the strength of its excellent cast.
Running time: 88mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: August 16, 2010
- Buy it on DVD (Amazon)
- Buy it on Blu-ray (Amazon)
- Read our review
- Cillian Murphy interview
- Brendan Gleeson interview
- Jim Broadbent interview
- Jodie Whittaker interview
- Perrier's Bounty Photo Gallery