“Perrier’s Bounty” Movie Review

7/30/2010 Posted by Admin

“Perrier’s Bounty”

Movie Review

Directed by Ian Fitzgibbon, written by Mark O’Rowe, 88 minutes, rated R.

By our guest blogger, Joel Crabtree

To the untrained eye, “Perrier’s Bounty” might appear to be just another British gangster film in the vein of Guy Ritchie’s work, and it even has all the fine details to pose as such. But hidden behind “Perrier’s” underbelly of working-class Ireland is the coming-of-age story of Michael McCrea, (Cillian Murphy), who, as a grown man, should already be of age.

We meet McCrea--who seems to be a kind-hearted waste of space--while napping. How appropriate. Little does McCrea know that in his vulnerable state, he is being watched by two cronies looking to collect a debt from Darren Perrier (Brendan Gleeson), the most feared gangster in the area. Michael’s given a deadline.

In the meantime, Michael’s estranged father (an eccentric Jim Broadbent -- the best kind of Broadbent), comes back into Michael’s life with some bad news: he’s dying. Well, not exactly -- but he did have a vision of the Grim Reaper telling him that the next time he fell asleep, he would die. Close enough, right?

And to top off Michael’s day, his recently dumped suicidal best friend, Brenda (Jodie Whittaker), accidentally shoots and kills one of Perrier’s thugs in a scuffle, sending the three into exile while trying to figure out a plan to survive with all of their limbs intact.

Mark O’Rowe is one of my favorite screenwriters to emerge within the last 10 years.  He has written “Intermission,” “Boy A” and now “Perrier’s Bounty.” His latest effort, however, is his weakest.

In “Bounty,” O’Rowe doesn’t present the moral complexities that he did with “Boy A” or the artfully interwoven stories of blue collar Ireland in “Intermission.” “Perrier’s Bounty” is about as simple as gangster films get, and it’s that reason that the movie feels more like a shell of O’Rowe’s previous work.

Nevertheless, O’Rowe’s fingerprints are all over “Bounty,” as he writes not in black and white, but in varying shades of gray. The film balances the light and the dark, generating both heart-wrenching drama and off-kilter humor in its characters’ past and present misfortunes -- the most rewarding of which is Broadbent’s Jim McCrea fighting to stay awake.

O’Rowe and director Ian Fitzgibbon successfully set “Perrier’s Bounty” apart from other films in its genre by presenting Michael’s life like a Whack-A-Mole game, temporarily fixing one problem while trying to deal with another. This method helps the filmmakers skillfully pace an otherwise lackluster story. And with an unforeseen touch at the end of the movie, O’Rowe and Fitzgibbon cap the film off perfectly.

Although it doesn’t live up to O’Rowe’s previous work, “Perrier’s Bounty” stands on its own as a pretty good movie. Writers this strong don’t pop up every day, and it will be fun to watch how O’Rowe follows up “Perrier’s Bounty.”

Grade: B-

Below is the trailer for Perrier’s Bounty. What are your thoughts on it?

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