Wednesday, 20 March 2013

No.81 : The Liability

The Liability at the IMDb

I was hoping this was going to be an exciting film set in the sexy world of insurance but alas it’s another ‘bad slags’ British gangster flick.

Wide boy 19 year old Adam should take better care of his stepdad’s stuff as a smash up in Pop’s Merc sets in motion a chain of events that will change his life forever, and take up 90 minutes of yours. His stepdad is Peter Mullen a gangster half way up the food chain. He has a nice house, is boffing Adam’s mum and has a seedy sideline in sex trafficking.

He tells Adam he’ll need to work to pay off the car debt and he sets him up with a driving job the next day. Adam isn’t keen at first but when he sees his stepdad in action on his laptop he decides he better play ball, lest he too end up in grainy x-rated footage. I just hope he shut the computer down correctly!

The next day Adam meets up with the guarded Tim Roth in a nicked Ford Granada. Tim plays Roy who prefers no chit-chat but does enjoy cassette tape Mexican music which seems a pointless affectation to add a touch of colour to his rather dull character. We learn his daughter is soon to be married and that he likes strong cheese in his sandwiches - you can’t say they are skimping on the details.

The two head to a forest and complete a messy hit on a Lithuanian gent living in a caravan. They start chopping up the body for souvenirs but are stumbled across by a young woman who manages to escape in the hapless hitmens’ car. We soon learn she’s not the innocent backpacker she makes out when she negotiates the return of the body parts for a few grand. The payoff goes OK but things start to spiral off in all directions when Tim’s true target is revealed and our savvy lady starts to turn the screws.

This was an OK sort of thriller but it wasn’t  memorable and the attempts to make it out of the ordinary seemed staged and unconvincing. For example our protagonists are all running around the country in vintage vehicles while shooting with gay abandon with never a copper in sight. I could see them trying to do a bit of the unsettling other worldliness of ‘Kill List’ but it didn’t get close to the atmosphere of that much better film.

The problem for me was in the second act where things started to get confused and muddled. It did salvage something towards the end but by then all the characters had been rewritten and any investment we had in them was long gone.

Peter Mullen was his usual angry and sweary self and Tim Roth showed his range doesn’t extend too far once again. The tension never got above lukewarm and despite some implied violence with axes there wasn’t much to react to apart from the destruction of a Churchill nodding dog, oh yes.

Overall the film wasn’t a disaster but there was nothing really to recommend it either, so damned with faint praise it is!

THE Tag Line - Yer going down - to the bargain bin!  61%

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