Though the St Patrick’s Day celebrations might have you fooled, people in Ireland don’t spend their days drinking Guinness, wearing novelty hats and listening to fiddle music.
Some of the stereotypes are better founded though, as a trip to any real Irish pub will demonstrate. There’s a lot of swearing and a lot of humour. True to its setting, Perrier’s Bounty kicks off with a bout of curse words and a witty line.
The film is set in Dublin and portrays the rough edge of the Emerald Isle, a place of dog-fights, loan sharks and crack cocaine.
Cillian Murphy stars as Michael McCrae, a down-on-his luck drifter who wakes with a hang-over and a debt to pay. He owes money to local kingpin Darren Perrier (Brendan Gleeson) a fact the gangster’s henchmen who turn up in his bedsit are keen to remind him.
But things are about to get a whole lot worse when his suicidal neighbour (Jodie Whittaker) accidentally shoots one of the stooges. To top it all, Michael’s father (Jim Broadbent) turns up claiming he has days to live.
The trio, now with a bounty on their heads, embarks on a cat and mouse caper that owes a lot to the intertwined plot lines of Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels. Although clearly influenced by the cockney crime flick it lacks some of its cut and thrust.
Cillian Murphy brings a vulnerability to Michael and you can’t help but root for him. Jim Broadbent, despite a questionable Irish accent, brings most of the comedy as the doddery but street-wise dad and Jodie Whittaker is perfect in the neurotic girl-next-door role.
The film unnecessarily tries to heighten itself with the use of a mysterious philosophical narrator. But it adds little to proceedings and feels like it was bolted on as an after-thought.
Perrier’s Bounty gives Ireland’s underworld a jovial feel compared to the grotty Lock, Stock… and there are less laughs than Snatch. The script may seem a little rushed but it’s a decent effort in its category. It’s fast and fun, a jolly good craic.