DCSIMG

Film review: The Liability (15)

  • by Siobhan Synnot
 

LIKE the trade itself, movies about hit men work best when they are quick, capable and thoroughly bloody.

The Liability (15)

Star rating: * *

Only one of these ideas is successfully executed in The Liability, where Peter Mullan’s lairy, shady businessman looks for some gainful employment for his new girlfriend’s son. Nineteen-year-old Adam (Skins’ Jack O’Connell) is given the job of chauffeuring a tight-lipped middle-aged man called Roy (Tim Roth) about his hit man business – and if you’re thinking this is not exactly a stretch for the star of The Hit, at least Roth’s weary presence is one of the film’s few strengths.

Part thriller, and part road movie, it also becomes something of a buddy movie, since Roy views gormless Adam as a potential apprentice to carry on the bumping-off business after Roy gratefully embraces retirement, with a just a little regret.

Roth and Mullan both give quite a bit more than the material demands, but of course the movie gets mired in the usual amoral stone-cold stuff that makes you wish there weren’t quite so many British directors keen to serve as apprentices to the Guy Ritchie school of tight and ruthless filmmaking. Based on a script by John Wrathall, the picture doesn’t break an inch of new ground; there’s a girl (Talulah Riley) who is such an undernourished part of the picture that she doesn’t even get a name. Occasionally the black comedy does crack a decent joke, but at some stage they really should explain how a distinctive car (a Ford Granada) can be present at every gory crime scene in the north of England without attracting police interest.

Selected release from Friday

 

Comments

 
 

Back to the top of the page

 

EDINBURGH
FESTIVALS
2014

#WOWFEST

In partnership with

Complete coverage of the festivals. Guides. Reviews. Listings. Offers

Let's Go!

No Thanks