“How did you prepare for the role?” The ubiquitous half-arsed question inevitably rears its head on the pair of dull EPK shrug-fests making up the paltry extras on this disc. Brendan Gleeson, who plays affable, menacing Dublin drugs kingpin Darren Perrier, sighs in mock-annoyance.
“Well, I had to get a coat. That was the main thing.” If only the same spontaneous deadpan wit carried on to the main feature, an on-rails chase movie that trundles down the same heavily rutted path of the likes of Intermission (with which it shares a writer, in Mark O’Rowe), I Went Down and other middling Celtic crime capers.
Cheerfully pilfering its storyline and characters from True Romance, its inky humour/supporting actor from In Bruges and its irritating philosophical gangsters and cartoon Lock-Stock-ish action from you know who, it’s a set-up as predictable as it is convoluted: local toerag Michael’s (Cillian Murphy) inability to repay Perrier the amusingly paltry sum of €1,000 sparking off an escalating string of stagey Ritchie-esque cock-ups.
Along the way, off-the-peg picaresques show up to advance the story when required: villainous wheel-clampers, homosexual hitmen, comedy sink-estate dog breeders and other stereotypes borrowed from Shameless.
Perrier’s Bounty does manage to add pace and a pleasing exuberance to its well-thumbed recipe, though – and the wonky structure is compensated somewhat by Gleeson’s performance as Perrier, a murderous racketeer who reckons he’s some sort of Dub Don Corleone.
And Jim Broadbent is effectively cast against type (despite the awful accent) as Michael’s watery-eyed da, going increasingly loopy after a visit from the Grim Reaper convinces him he’s going to die if he falls asleep (“I get to point a gun and hit people and swear!” Broadbent reveals).
Sadly, the lead characters are by comparison thinly sketched ciphers who it’s rather difficult to care about.
Murphy’s piercing, cobalt-eyed intensity doesn’t quite sit with the role of hapless schlub, while Jodie Whittaker is saddled with a character of staggeringly little depth as token suicidal love-interest Brenda.
In the end, it’s a rote crime caper that feels a little too pleased with its patronising portrayal of a Dublin populated by the kind of cartoon geezers that became tiresome a decade ago.
In fact, the only thing that’s missing is a cameo from a hardman ex-footballer. Surely Roy Keane can’t be that busy...
Slapstick road movie buffoonery that aims for edgy and leftfield but hits threadbare and contrived. Entertaining performances though.