The Good Liar Movie Review: An unconvincing Con Act
All those swishy twists and turns, unbelievable double-crosses, frequent going back in time and fake-outs, fail to dredge up enough tension. This one is mildly entertaining at best!
The Good Liar
A: Drama, Thriller
Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, Russell Tovey, Jim Carter, Mark Jones, Phil Dunster, Nell Williams, Lucian Msamati, Laurie Davidson, Jóhannes Jóhannesson, Athena Strates, Tunji Kasim, Spike White, Stella Stocker, Daniel Betts, Celine Buckens
The story is set in London, 2009, where two senior individuals are shown chatting on a dating website using pseudonyms. They agree to meet for a casual dinner and that's when Roy (Ian McKellan) and Betty (Helen Mirren) are shown together. They seem to hit it off quickly and their relationship is not governed by passion, they appear to have a viable bonding that deepens into companionship. Betty just lost her husband a year earlier while Roy has been preying on well-to-do widows as a career path. While the two get cosy, Betty's grandson Steven (Russell Torvy), begins to harbour suspicious about Roy – which of course are very valid. But that's not the point. The drama happens when feelings get enmeshed - making the possible swindle a rather precarious one for Roy. Betty's health issues and Roy's previous victim add to the complications.
The scripted storyline adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the book by Nicholas Searle, puts the onus entirely on the two luminous actors to come good. Engaging performances from the two thespians notwithstanding, the wayward plotting and indulgent character chatter makes the shocking reveal rather predictable.
Watch the trailer of The Good Liar here
Condon's inconsistent use of tone belittles the fun to be had from the Mirren and McKellen's playing off each other for the first time ever. Condon does throw in some meaty instances of smartly staged suspense ( especially the one set in the Charing Cross underground station) but the overall effect is pretty much inconsistent and lacking in edge. All those swishy twists and turns, unbelievable double-crosses, frequent going back in time and fake-outs, fail to dredge up enough tension.
This one is mildly entertaining at best!
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