Saturday, 2 July 2011

Dead Fish Review

When you get the success that Guy Ritchie had with Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, you wind up with a lot of imitators.  This is one of those.  It's another one of those English-style gangster movies that tries to be cooler than it can, much like Layer Cake, Smoking Aces and Lucky Number Slevin.  While there are some good things about Dead Fish, it really winds up being another imitator that just can't live up to its predecessors.

I'll start with the acting.  Overall, it isn't that bad.  Robert Carlyle is pretty decent as the over the top blowhard that just wants his money.  Billy Zane is pretty good too as the guy who is proper English in a very quirky way.  The others, however, are either just OK or downright bad.  Gary Oldman is OK.  I know his character is supposed to be weird to lend an air of humour to the film but he just comes off as this psycho that you really can't care about at all.  Playing a stoner should be a fairly easy thing but Jimi Mistry is not convincing at all.  Finally, Andrew Lee Potts falls flat as the main hero, much like Josh Hartnett in Slevin.

I also had a problem with the directing.  Rather than stay with that gritty London Underworld feel that these movies need, the director decided to have some artsy shots that just didn't fit.  The best example is the argument shot through the hotel door peephole.  All it did was muffle the actors voices and irritate me.

The good in this movie would be the humour.  There are numerous times when they do actually succeed in making me laugh.  While it isn't as good as, say, The Last Boy Scout for an action/comedy, I did find that I was smiling quite a bit during it.  This is especially true when Zane is on screen.  He really does steal his scenes.

Don't see it.  It is fairly low on the ladder for its genre.  Guy Ritchie's movies are a much better option.  Even if you've seen those, their rewatchability is better than Dead Fish for the first time.  It's weird though.  Dead Fish isn't a terrible movie.  I would just say it's below average and Carlyle and Zane just aren't enough.

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