Plunkett and Macleane

Plunkett and Macleane is the type of movie that tries to be many things and instead end up being not much at all. Is this a feel good buddies in trouble robbing the rich type movie? Or is it an artsy fartsy period piece based on real life figures? Well, both. Will Plunkett (Robert Carlyle from Ravenous and the upcoming The World is Not Enough) and James Macleane (Jonny Lee Miller, Afterglow, Regeneration) are two young British blokes who meet up and set off on a robbing spree. They meet when Chance (Ken Stott, Shallow Grave, The Boxer) is chasing Plunkett and his brother. The chase culminates outside of Macleane's prison cell, where Chance kills Plunkett's brother. Macelane escapes, and both he and Plunkett run off.

They realize that together, they could start a good thing. Macleane has the looks of a nobleman. Using a bit of money, Macleane can crash parties and learn who has the most money. Then, after the party, they follow the unsuspecting rich person, and rob them. With each robbery, their reputation grows. Soon, everyone is on the watch for the 'Gentleman Highwaymen,' including one Lady Rebecca Gibson (Liv Tyler, Armageddon, Cookie's Fortune), who becomes enamored with Macleane after he robs her. However, there is a purpose behind the robberies. Plunkett is trying to raise enough money to go to America, where he can start over. Macleane is having fun enjoying playing a nobleman. Chance becomes increasingly obsessed with capturing Plunkett and Macleane, but has no success.

The story is all over the place. Some parts are very funny, others are very dull. The drama is never serious, sometimes campy. It is amusing to watch the exploits of Plunkett and Macleane, but never more than that. Many people will undoubtedly come to see Carlyle and Miller who starred together in Trainspotting, but this film is nothing like that one. Both of them seem to have had fun with their roles, as did Alan Cumming (Broadway's Cabaret, Eyes Wide Shut) as Lord Rochester, an obviously gay friend of Macleane's. Cummings has the ability to put the right inflection on anything he says to give is a particularly nasty sexual connotation. Unfortunately, Stott's role is limited to sneering and yelling. His character also has a shady past, which is constantly alluded to, but never explained. If you think that you are watching something for the MTV generation, you are probably not wrong. Director Jake Scott has lots of experience in music videos and commercials. The music by composer Craig Armstrong swings from traditional period music to thumping techno. Ultimately, Plunkett and Macleane is a lot of flash on the surface, with nothing much underneath.

Haro Rates It: Okay

1 hour, 33 minutes, Rated R for strong violence, language, and sexuality.

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