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Perrier's Bounty


Stars: Cillian Murphy, Jim Broadbent, Brendan Gleeson, Jodie Whittaker, Liam Cunningham, Padraig Delaney, Brendan Coyle

Director: Ian Fitzgibbon

Many of Ireland's most prominent actors appear in this cartoonish, fiercely foul-mouthed thriller with comic overtones. The premise is familiar: Michael (Murphy) owes a prominent loan shark (Gleeson) a thousand euros and has just a few hours to cough up.

Two of the bad guy's enforcers appear keen to break a couple of Michael's bones even before the deadline, but an invitation from a local crook (Cunningham) seems to promise the necessary moolah. Michael's father (Broadbent) suddenly turns up on his estranged son, convinced that he has had a visit from the Grim Reaper (voice of Gabriel Byrne) and is to die that night.

Complicating matters further is Michael's suicidal neighbour Bren (Whittaker), contemplating suicide over her philandering boyfriend (Delaney). Her theft of Michael's gun, however, comes in handy when the hitmen corner him and she emerges to shoot one of them instead of herself.

And two nighttime car-clampers are proving the bane of everyone, to say nothing of Jerome (Lark Rise to Candleford's Coyle, who can't help seeming gentle) and his pack of vicious, trained-to-kill dogs.

Naturally, it all ends up in one big, violent stew at the end. Staccato background music does its best to help drum the action along over the well-worn territory it treads, Nighttime camerawork by Seamus Deasy is also excellent. Despite the distinguished cast, most of the actors have little to do but look desperate and dishevelled and swear a lot, all of which they do with complete conviction.

David Quinlan

Ireland/UK 2009. UK Distributor: Optimum. Colour by Soho Film Lab.
87 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 21 Mar 2010