Release: 19 Mar. 04
BY: DAVID PERRY
Two people talk chummy at a counter. She’s a cashier, he’s a
customer, and their conversation seems destined for a romance. Why then,
does he suddenly pull a gun on her and rob the store? That’s par for the
course in interMission, a light but forgettable Irish charmer about wannabe
thugs who really just need to be loved.
Coming light years away from the schmaltz of Richard Curtis’ Love Actually
across the Irish Sea, interMission is the type of multi-character one would
surely compare to Altman, but its manic mentality seems far more akin to
Scotsman Danny Boyle (who has worked with three of the film’s stars). A
Trainspotting with more humor, first-time filmmaker John Crowley’s film
might not quite reach the same level of artistry Boyle has attained, but
Crowley’s characters are more lifelike and believable than many of the
malcontents and misanthropes who checker the Boyle oeuvre.
Set around a bank robbery that’s spurned by cutbacks in the mass transit
industry, the woes of being in the working class, and the need take revenge
on the ex, the buffoons who think a payday is nearby lack the humanity of,
say, H.I. McDonnough in Raising Arizona but their ineptness has a charm all
its own, even if their ringleader, the thief of the opening Lehiff (Farrell;
in a performance that reminds us why he was such a find before he went into
the Hollywood formula factory) is the most amusingly vicious person since
Robert Mitchum in The Night of the Hunter.
Heist films, admittedly, are a dime-a-dozen, but when they click, it’s often
exhilarating to see the genre reimagined. There’s little new to interMission,
but its intents are enjoyable, nonetheless. The characters aren’t looking
for greatness (with the exception of Colm Meaney’s brutally exploitive cop),
just diversions from their everyday lives. This film is just another
suitable –- if more legal –- diversion from ours.