*I will not be spoiling any twist
Career con artist Roy Courtnay can hardly believe his luck when he meets well-to-do widow Betty McLeish online. As Betty opens her life and home to him, Roy is surprised to find himself caring about her, turning what should be a cut-and-dry swindle into the most treacherous tightrope walk of his life.
At the beginning of Bill Condon’s new thriller The Good Liar, Ian McKellen’s Roy Courtnay tells Helen Mirren’s Betty Mcleish, that he detests liars. This is obviously ironic because one scene later we find out he is a massive liar himself. And away we go with the a tale of lies deceit and plot points that come out of nowhere.
The Good Liar gives McKellen and Mirren a chance to be on screen together for the first time, which is shocking. I just wish they had a better vehicle than what they are given. We basically got a con man who meets his victims on E-Harmony then swindles these old ladies out of their life savings.
What starts out as a basic con seems to get weighed down by the fact that this is a movie and there has to be some sort of twist in order for the audience to go home happy. The issue is if you do not set up the twist throughout the movie it ends up falling flat and you have audiences wondering what the heck just happened. That is what happened when the twist hit in this one.
I will not completely spoil it even though it is fairly obvious, but what I will say is I did enjoy every scene where the two of them went head to head. You get to see two all time, powerhouse actors staring each other down to see who will blink first. In that respect this was a fun time but other than that it felt like a bland collection of scenes that they hoped to pay off with the twist, which as I stated above, did not work at all.
Stock Neutral – Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren as I have laid out are legendary actors. Their stocks are going nowhere and if this were sports we would say they are future Hall of Famers. They both give solid performances in this but I do not think it will end up on their career highlight reels.
Stock Neutral – Bill Condon has had a great career, with Dreamgirls, Two Twilight Movies, Beauty and The Beast and much more. This was not one of his best but showed he is willing to expand genres in order to grow as an artist. That will always continue to earn my respect.
*A couple other tidbits
- The twist again is absolutely horrendous.
- I guess them seeing Inglorious Basterds together makes sense after you have seen the whole movie.
- There is an awful Putin joke thrown in.
This is a movie that is competently made and well acted, but that is about it. I was not a fan of the story at all, mostly because it just felt like cheating on the plot once you got to the end.
*You can find all of my Movie Ratings here.