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Love Punch, The


Stars: Emma Thompson, Pierce Brosnan, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, Tuppence Middleton, Marisa Berenson

Director: Joel Hopkins

Lovely people trapped in dreadful film. It's such a pleasure to be in the company of Thompson, Spall, Imrie, and, to a slightly lesser extent, Brosnan, that you can almost forgive them going for a few weeks' location shooting in the French Riviera sun in exchange for appearing in a corny farce with no funny moments, and a villain whom the script makes no attempt to portray as anything but silly and unconvincing.

He's the man who's taken over Brosnan's firm and run it into the ground, depriving the entire staff of both earnings and pension. With kids at university depending on them, Brosnan and ex-wife Thompson decide to steal the bad guy's million-dollar diamond that he's bought his fiancée as a wedding present.

They enlist their friends Spall and Imrie as their accomplices in impersonating two Texas oilmen and their wives who had been invited to the wedding and who are ludicrously easily drugged and trussed up by our fearsome foursome in their hotel rooms.

There follows a cliff-hanging manoeuvre right out of The Guns of Navarone (as if...) before the final attempt to steal the diamond amid tiresome interruptions caused by Thompson and Brosnan's allergies to flowers and cats respectively.

Even if you're fond of these likeable and talented people, and I am, this is sadly one to avoid.

David Quinlan

UK/France 2013. UK Distributor: Entertainment One. Colour by Transalux.
94 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 13 Apr 2014