Ever since Guy Ritchie “retired” from the British crime genre, it has been in constant decline with only a few good movies, and a lot of milking attempts to use the old glory to make more money. It was refreshing to see that there are still people out there who want to tell a story. And especially refreshing to see Tim Roth back in the saddle, backed up by young and talented Jack O’Connel who first caught my eye with his astonishing performance in Eden Lake .
The story is relatively old, an aging hitman and a young, restless kid bond over a course of his last job. Of course, this is just the frame, there’s much more going on in The Liability, that’s even very humorous at times. Yes, this is that special blend of British humor and gruesome scenes, that I love so much, but don’t be expecting much of it.
Adam is nineteen, and he thinks that he owns the world, so he gets into trouble fairly easily. His stepfather Peter is in a game on a whole different level, real, gangster level. He decides to teach Adam a lesson and at the same time get some of his affairs done. He teams him up with an aging, but still very skilled hitman Roy. Adam’s job is to drive Roy around for a day, and this will be a very interesting day…
Don’t expect the next Snatch or Lock, Stock but something in the same vein. The Liability examines the lives of several people with interesting occupations and specific points in life. This might sound like a cliché, sort of a coming-of-age story combined with classical British crime schemes, and it is, but a good one (if there are good clichés). If you want to check out movies like The Liability I recommend The Hit from 1984 starring Terence Stamp for that old-school driving British crime movie. And if you’re looking to continue your exploration of the hitman movies check out dark and sinister Kill List.
The scene where they lost me is the one in the woods, where overly cautious and extremely thought-out and calculated Roy decides to break character and steal a van, leaving witnesses and evidence behind him. However, apart from the great acting from Tim and Jack, the thing that saved that scene was the cinematography. It was great throughout the movie with some amazing scenes, especially for a movie of this class budget-wise. The whole movie is relatively light and easy on the eyes and mind so it’s going to be an amusing past time, but without much lasting value.
Director: Craig Viveiros
Writer: John Wrathall
Cast: Tim Roth, Talulah Riley, Jack O’Connell, Peter Mullan, Kierston Wareing, Christopher Hatherall, Tomi May
Fun Facts: In one of the scenes there’s a TV with gameplay from the game RAGE (PC/XBOX/PS) with the Dreamcast console below it