A pretty Average Crime Drama, with a not so surprising Sinister twist at the end.
DIRECTOR: Bill Condon
STARRING: Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, and Russell Tovey
SCREENPLAY: Jeffrey Hatcher, Nicholas Searle (novel)
GENRE: Drama, Thriller
RUNTIME: 109 Minutes
★★★ 3 Stars
Like many of it’s kind that have come before it, the remise for this film was just very average and was relaying on the shocking twist in the third act to leave an impact with you. And I am not altogether sure that I feel it did.
Life long conman Roy thinks he has hit it big when he meets trusting widow Betty on an online dating service. Over a period of a few months he gains her trust and then sets about making plans to abscond with her life savings. Not everyone around Betty is so trusting however and he very quickly finds himself in hot water when her grandson starts digging around in his past.
With a cast that consists of Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen, there isn’t an ice cream’s chance in hell that you aren’t going to get stellar performances in this film. Both of them are accomplished actors and they work opposite each other brilliantly. But it does take the wind out of the sails of the big finale, if you consider that really for the majority of the film, Mirren is far too accomplished an actress to be wasted on the part of a naïve widow, and surely there must be more to her role, which just adds to the predictability of the so called ‘twist’ at the end.
Seeing McKellen play a villain however is simply delightful, and what a piece of work this character is. Not to be dismissed because of his age, Roy is every part as twisted and evil as they come, a far cry from a lot of McKellen’s other roles, and a nice change of pace for him I think.
Speaking of pace, that for me really is the let down here. You know that the film is building to something big. Films of this genre always are, and yet it seems to take an age to get there. And then when we do, the actual surprise isn’t all that surprising. The cause for it wasn’t at all what I was expecting, and the flashback scenes added a change of tone to the film, but I was expecting more from the actual ‘crime’ aspect of the film itself.
So not bad, but the pay-out at the end isn’t necessarily worth the wait. But I will let you be the judge of that.The Good Liar is out in UK cinema’s now!