Toronto 2009 Review: Ian Fitzgibbon's Perrier's Bounty
by Alex Billington
September 20, 2009
With so many gritty low-budget British gangster films these days, the better ones really need something that makes unique if they want to stand out. At first I thought that was exactly Perrier's Bounty had - a great cast with a perfect dynamic. But as I watched the story play out, I realized this wasn't at all any different, and it started to follow a formulaic path. By the end I knew what was coming -- well, not entirely, but I knew that he'd get the girl, and I knew that he'd live to see another day. No surprise there. I'm not trying to spoil the film, but rather just criticize it, as it really had a chance of being great but lost its edge once it got going.
Perrier's Bounty is a fairly fast-paced gangster drama starring a bearded Cillian Murphy (not a clean-cut one like in Batman Begins) as your typical Irish lowlife who needs to pay off a debt to a mobster named Perrier (Brendan Gleeson) or he'll be killed. Two of Perrier's cronies start to harass him until he takes a night job robbing a house for some quick cash. But the money won't be ready until the following morning and he gets attacked again. However, this time his lovely neighbor Brenda (Jodie Whittaker) accidentally shoots one of them and his dad (Jim Broadbent) gets roped in as well as the three of them go on the run.
Big comparisons can be made between In Bruges and Perrier's Bounty, but unlike Bruges, Bounty doesn't have a storyline that completely deviates from the norm (e.g. it's not that unique). While I might argue that Cillian Murphy matches Colin Farrell and both films have Brendan Gleeson, Bounty just doesn't live up to Bruges by a long shot. I still loved the dynamic between the three "good guys" - Murphy, Whittaker, and Broadbent - but they followed a story where I knew exactly what was going to happen, and that's not exciting to watch. So in short, it's good, but far from great. See it for the three great leads (seen above), but that's it.
Toronto Rating: 6.5 out of 10