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Plunkett and Macleane

Director:Jake Scott
Writers:Robert Wade, Neal Purvis, and Charles McKeown
USA Films/Gramercy Pictures; 102 minutes; R
Release:10/99
Cast:Jonny Miller, Robert Carlyle, Liv Tyler

Loud, flamboyant, and leering, Plunkett and Macleane is a period piece (sort-of) that could only be made in the nineties. Trainspotting buddies Robert Carlyle and Jonny Miller play high-society scoundrels (and infamous real-life heroes) for whom the movie is named. Here, “historical accuracy” means that 18th-century London is portrayed as a foul-smelling, poorly sanitized mess where foppish dandies party with shrewish ladies with pre-Wildean, pre-disco debauchery. It also means the soundtrack is pounding techno-pop.

Plunkett and Macleane use cavalier style and wit to unburden the aristocracy of their riches. Along the way, Macleane meets Lady Rebecca (Liv Tyler), and a torrid romance ensues. Very heavy on MTV stylization and scatological glee, Plunkett and Macleane is fast-food entertainment: fast, furious, and fun, but probably not too healthy.


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