A run­away dis­as­ter

THREE AND OUT Di­rected by Jonathan Ger­sh­field Star­ring Macken­zie Crook, Colm Meaney, Imelda Staunton, Gemma Arter­ton, An­thony Sher, Gary Lewis

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Filmreviews - DON­ALD CLARKE

15A cert, gen re­lease, 110 min IN THE later stages of this deeply strange Bri­tish film, Colm Meaney finds him­self drink­ing lager while danc­ing to The Pogues at a grubby stu­dent party. It says some­thing about the film’s curious world­view that the scene is in­tended to show Meaney, hith­erto sui­ci­dal, shak­ing off in­hi­bi­tions and liv­ing life to the full. There must be more ex­otic ways of seiz­ing the day than this.

Three and Out, a fea­ture de­but from television di­rec­tor Jonathan Ger­sh­field, stars The Of­fice’s Macken­zie Crook as Paul, a Lon­don Tube driver with am­bi­tions to write se­ri­ous fiction. Af­ter he runs over two com­muters in as many weeks, his work­mates ex­plain that, if he is in­volved in one more fa­tal col­li­sion, Lon­don Trans­port will per­mit him to re­tire on full pay. (Don’t worry, com­muters, the com­pany has no such pol­icy in real life.) Paul sets out to lo­cate some­body al­ready dis­posed to sui­cide, who, if of­fered fur­ther in­duce­ment in the form of a week­end’s de­bauch­ery at the hero’s ex­pense, will agree to lie in front of his train. Af­ter much ne­go­ti­a­tion, Meaney’s dis­traught Ir­ish boozer ac­cepts the of­fer.

The film can­not quite de­cide if it wants to be a medi­ocre drama or an ap­palling com­edy. The scenes in which Meaney ne­go­ti­ates with his es­tranged wife (Imelda Staunton) are rea­son­ably mov­ing, but they are over­shad­owed by a stam­pede of low-brow gags that even the Carry On team might have found too pruri­ent. Ho­mo­sex­u­als are, it seems, preda­tory by de­fault. An­thony Sher makes an oily psy­chopath of a pass­ing French­man. Kerry Ka­tona raises a weary laugh sim­ply by be­ing her­self. Af­ter nearly two hours of this stuff, even the most buoy­ant viewer might find him­self yearn­ing to stretch out be­fore the 8.15 to Ac­ton Town.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.