15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Been shown many times on TV over years but so watchable it has to be worth owning.,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Gumshoe [DVD] (DVD)
You won't have to be British and at least 40 to appreciate this, you don't even have to be a slightly nerdy detective novel reader and fan of those old Bogey movies to enjoy it, but if you happen to be all these things, I guarantee this is a must see film, though you've probably seen it already. To those that haven't, give it a try.
An early Frears film, it is well crafted with plenty of his slightly angled way of looking at things. The direction is lively as you'd expect, the scenes are sharp and always vying for your attention. The idea was to parody a few things at once. First, it is a very respectful parody of a typical Ray Chandler adaption. So the plot is deliberately complicated and almost impossible to follow. I still can't quite work it out, but realised years ago that I wasn't really meant to.
Second, it is a slightly less respectful parody of people from Liverpool, yes scousers, though this is mainly a background element because the film happens to be set there. It is a sort of filmic joke, saying 'Liverpool isn't quite L.A. is it' ( L.A. being the Capital City of Noir). A very smart Neville Smith (a scouser) script packs in alot of wit and social comment around the central plot, and he plays a cameo, as the gun seller to Eddie 'Gumshoe'.