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Perrier's Bounty (15)

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Review byMatthew Turner26/03/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 88 mins

Enjoyable Irish thriller with a blackly comic edge and strong performances from Murphy and Broadbent but there's never a sense of real danger and it occasionally feels over-familiar.

What's it all about?
Directed by Ian Fitzgibbon, Perrier's Bounty stars Cillian Murphy as Dublin loser Michael, whose £1,000 debt to local gangster Darren Perrier (Brendan Gleeson) has just become due. When Michael's neighbour Brenda (Jodie Whittaker) accidentally shoots dead one of Perrier's gay henchmen (Don Wycherley), the pair go on the run, stopping only to pick up Michael's estranged father Jim (Jim Broadbent), who's desperate to stay awake because he believes the Grim Reaper told him in a dream that if he went to sleep, he'd never wake up again.

The Good
Jim Broadbent is the best thing in the film, playing against his usual twinkly-eyed persona and clearly having a whale of a time as Jim, snorting instant coffee to stay awake and then moving onto the harder stuff, with occasionally disastrous results. Cillian Murphy and Jodie Whittaker are both fine and generate a certain amount of chemistry, while Brendan Gleeson is his usual excellent self, playing exactly the sort of gangster you'd expect a man named Darren Perrier to be (i.e. not a wholly convincing one).

The script (including narration by Gabriel Byrne) has several good lines and Fitzgibbon keeps things moving at a decent pace throughout. There's also an excellent score by David Holmes that adds considerably to the film.

The Bad
That said, the plot is fairly weak and lacks any dramatic or emotional weight, especially compared to something like In Bruges. Similarly, the black comedy element doesn't really amount to anything and there's never any sense of real danger, even during the climactic confrontation scenes. On top of that, the film frequently feels a little over-familiar and the only element of the film that feels really original is Broadbent's character.

Worth seeing?
In short, Perrier’s Bounty is an enjoyable Irish thriller with strong performances and a blackly comic edge, though it ultimately lacks any real emotional depth and feels a little over-familiar.

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Perrier's Bounty (15)
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