Cillian Murphy has a habit of waking up in the middle of movies. After doing that previously in 28 Days Later, he does so once again here in Perrier’s Bounty. He’s having pistachios thrown at him this time around. It turns out, he owes $1,000 to a man named Perrier (Brendan Gleeson), and the debt is to be paid in just over four hours. Murphy’s character, Michael, does not have the money. I think you can see where this is going.
Surprisingly, the film doesn’t follow those four hours as he attempts to get the money. At the outset, I was prepared for a race-against-time film where Michael had to rush around Dublin and try to acquire the money that he owes this Perrier fellow. This isn’t the case. He’s not going to get the money by midnight. His neighbor, Brenda (Jodie Whittaker) offers to help him out, although he respectfully declines. He’s got a plan that isn’t going to work.
The first obstacle he’s going to have to overcome is his father, Jim (Jim Broadbent), a man who he has been estranged from for some time. Jim tells his son that he’s dying, as he has cancer. So, for whatever reason, Michael takes the dying man along with him on his journey. His primary goal is to find a man called The Mutt (Liam Cunningham), who he’s been told might be able to provide him with another loan to pay off this one. However, he’s also got a pair of mobsters to deal with, as the consequences for not securing the appropriate funds is two broken bones — of Michael’s choosing.
Most of the film follows Michael, Jim, and Brenda as they go from one situation to another. There are few dull moments, although if you ask me to recall specifics about a lot of the film, you’ll find with a blank stare on my face as I try to remember the insanity that I had just seen. Almost everything ties up very nicely, with earlier parts of the film actually factoring in or, at the very least, being mentioned later. I was happy with that, as it’s something that a lot of films neglect; they’re happy enough having the characters experience and then forget about many events.
The plot ends up working, although it lacked a lot of consistency. Things just sort of turn up, and then the characters have to react accordingly. The car doesn’t start? Okay, well we’ll just steal another one. Someone died? Okay, we’ll take the body and bury it. I don’t like someone? Okay, I’ll just swear at them profusely because that will teach ’em respect! See, earlier events don’t necessarily lead to later ones, and it brings us a sense of randomness. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but trying to figure out why something happened is more difficult than it should be.
This is a very good cast, and they’re probably the main reason that Perrier’s Bounty is as watchable as it is. If the words in the script would be coming out of other actors’ mouths, it might have felt incessant or annoying. But because these are good actors, the words are funny or, sometimes, especially in the case of the villains, menacing. Gleeson makes a very strong villain in this film. But he’s still funny. There’s a lot of humor in this film, like how understanding and sincere Gleeson’s character is — or seems to be.
Also humorous is how none of the “good” characters seem to take the situation they’re in all that seriously. Their lives are in danger, and they argue about the most unimportant of things, at least, relatively speaking. For example, when being shot at, they’ll argue about whether or not Brenda should attempt reconciliation with the cheating boyfriend who just broke up with her.
Like I said earlier, dialogue exchanges like that could be annoying if delivered by less-competent actors. This is especially true because of the cartoonish way where everyone swears with seemingly every second word. But it works here and I was laughing far more frequently than I thought I was. Even the narrator (Gabriel Byrne) made me laugh. And he actually plays a role in the film in its final moments, although it’s more of an implied role that wraps things up very well.
I can’t remember a point in the film where I wasn’t having a good time. Maybe there were moments like this, and I just can’t think of them, but because there’s always something new going on, I don’t think there were many. And if there were, they certainly weren’t long or memorable. I was almost always entertained, either by the action on-screen or the dialogue. The pacing is superb, never giving you a moment to lose focus on what’s happening, and Perrier’s Bounty doesn’t overstay its welcome, only lasting 88 minutes.
I had fun with Perrier’s Bounty. Do I remember much about it? No. Does that make it not worth your time? I don’t think so. It entertained me for approximately 90 minutes, and after I watched it, I felt pretty good. I laughed, I watched some people get shot, and there wasn’t a dull moment. This is a good escapism film about a man trying to pay off a debt to someone you don’t want to become indebted to. It’s well-paced, well-acted, and doesn’t last any longer than it should. It always throws something new at you, although you’ll be unlikely to remember much of it after it’s finished. This is a good film, even if I won’t remember it tomorrow.