Sunday, 26 May 2013

Review: The Liability

World of Blackout Catch-up Review

The Liability Poster

The Liability
Cert: 15 / 86 mins / Dir. Craig Viveiros

From an intriguing trailer comes a mixed bag of a film about a good-for-nothing layabout (Jack O'Connell's Adam) who gets mixed up with a hitman (Tim Roth's Roy), and unwittingly becomes his apprentice. The scene above is a perfect snapshot of the chemistry between O'Connell and Roth, and they make the film a pleasure to watch. That said, it's odd that O'Connell plays essentially the same persona as he did in Tower Block, and yet I couldn't stand that character. Ah, well.

While Peter Mullan puts in an effortlessly great turn as Adam's stepfather, the rest of the cast feel like they're capable of more but aren't getting the chance to have their turn. There's the core of a great thriller here, but it feels neglected as the relationship between Adam and Roy is carefully dissected. By the time it's all wrapped up, it's happened a little too quickly, leaving too many loose ends as the credits roll. As interesting and well-shot as it is (the grey skies of the North East of England set a beautiful muted tone for the film), it feels like a missed opportunity.

The film about a killer wanting to retire, and a hapless kid wanting to succeed him is a good one. The film about regret, revenge and human-trafficking is barely hinted at, and gets lost behind extended scenes of dark-humour.

Still, at least it's not Kill List.

Is the trailer representative of the film?
It sums up the relationship between O'Connell and Roth's characters. So, yes.

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
I think so.

Buy, pay to rent, or wait until it's on for free?
There's no rush, you can wait for this to be on the free channels.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

And my question for YOU is…
Is Peter Mullan as quietly-terrifying in real life as I imagine he is? Y'know, I think he'd be friendly and that, it's just that you wouldn't be able to relax when he was in the room.
Comments box. Let me know? Cheers.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a 'catch-up' review. I watched this film at home, not at the cinema. I saw the trailer for this at the cinema, and I would have seen the film there too, but they didn't/couldn't show it. So now iTunes, Amazon, Netflix and Blockbuster get to reap the rewards of my local's advance-advertising, and I'm sure they're delighted. Now you may say "oh come on, they can't show everything down there", and that would be a valid point if they didn't do things like running Taken 2 for six weeks. Was it that successful? No, I don't think so. Twilight? Batman? Les Mes? Sure, go for it; if they're pulling the punters in then keep making that money. But Taken 2? I ask you. Anyway, this is essentially a DVD review, but still of a new(ish) film. There. I'm glad that's sorted.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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