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USA/United Kingdom 2003
Directed by
Michael Hodges
102 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1 stars

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

From the classy opening titles it would seem that Hodges, a technically-skilled director who had a come-back success with Croupier (1998) but is best known for his 1971 thriller, Get Carter (which had a revenge-driven plot like this film) had in mind some kind of contemporary film noir with this film. Imagine Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels with the humour extracted and a transfusion of pseudo-existentialist pretension and you’ve got some idea of what he and writer Trevor Preston have actually delivered.

Why anyone thought this film about a supposed London hard man (Clive Owen, who got his big break with Croupier) seeking revenge on his brother’s rapist should have been made is anyone’s guess. From the stoned hippy taxi driver to a crippled psychologist explaining the rapist’s mentality it is embarrassingly daft and, in what I take to be an attempt to be stylishly elliptical, it simply leaves air gaps in the narrative (and as for the ending…). The characterisations are clichéd, the acting largely awful (Jamie Foreman as the offsider is outstanding in this respect), the only point of any interest being trying to guess why Charlotte Rampling was involved with such dully-conceived nonsense.




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