interMission
2004
This collection of 11 comic stories set in Dublin stems from one single circumstance: how the breakup of one couple's relationship can have unexpected repercussions on the lives of the people around them. One of those people is Lehiff (Colin Farrell), a thief trying to set his life straight by pulling off one last heist before retiring. Too bad dogged detective John Lynch (Colm Meaney) will stop at nothing to bring Lehiff to justice.

Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”

Apparently you don't have to be American to be a starry-eyed first-time director desperately aping Quentin Tarantino; Irishman John Crowley pulls it off with aplomb in this underachieving Dublin tale that intersects a dozen major characters with sudden criminal violence and offhand pop-culture references. I'm not one to oppose sex or violence when they're used appropriately (even the extremely dark-natured Irréversible never stepped out of line), but here they're used as obnoxious window dressing in a story that would be better told without them. Colm Meaney's insecure bully of a detective is a fascinating character, but does he really belong in the same film as dopey misanthrope Cillian Murphy or sweet-natured wallflower David Wilmot? Still, if you accept the sometimes-sudden transitions between tones, this film has a number of good laughs in it, including the especially Tarantinoesque revelation about brown sauce and coffee. The film has the confident forward momentum necessary for this sort of material, taking turns pounding its poor characters in rapid succession like a whack-a-mole game. Other than a poorly-filmed double car-crash scene and some moments when the Irish brogue gets too tangled to interpret, both of which may send you reaching for the rewind button, it's a generally pleasing film for fans of black humor and, well, Tarantinoesque fits of comic violence.

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