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Plunkett & Macleane (1999)
R Period piece, Comedy adventure

Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller, Liv Tyler, Alan Cumming, Ken Stott

Jake Scott
The Bean Counter: 4 1/2 Beans out of 5

When I had the flu a while back, I scanned the video store shelves for some couch potato comfort and found "Plunkett & MacCleane". Starring Liv Tyler, Alan Cumming, and Trainspotting's Robert Carlyle & Jonny Lee Miller, the flick immediately takes you in from the morbidly sadistic intro where we're introduced to the diabolical General Chance (Ken Stott) and the imprisoned Macleane in his cell.

We then follow the fantastical rise of Plunkett and Macleane, two British scalliwags from opposite ends of the social spectrum with an unusual gentleman's agreement at the core of their unlikely team. Macleane looks like a nobleman, and using money raised by Plunkett, he begins crashing parties to learn which guest has the most money. That information in hand, he and Plunkett proceed to rob the unsuspecting rich person after the party. With each robbery, their reputation grows and soon everyone is on the watch for the Gentleman Highwaymen, including Lady Rebecca Gibson (Liv Tyler), who becomes enamored with Macleane after he robs her. Adding to the plot, Macleane falls in love with her at first sight on the same night.

The story unfolds at a quick pace, and Alan Cumming as the debauched Lord Rochester adds a deft touch to the feel of the film with innuendos and an outrageous persona. The soundtrack by composer Craig Armstrong moves from traditional period music to thumping techno with ease, adding a modern feel to the film. Director Jake Scott is an award-winning music video and commercial director and this is his full-length directorial debut. All in all a good movie romp for the popcorn crowd - I give this film 4 1/2 out of 5 beans.

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