Plunkett & MacLeane (1999)


A gentleman who is down on his luck teams up with a peasant highwayman in a plan to identify and rob the effete aristocracy of their ill-gotten gains.

Plunkett And Macleane was at the receiving end of a critical savaging upon its release at the tail end of the Britpop era and is one of the first attempts at “geezer”ising history. Since the advent of Guy Ritchie and even to some extent Pirates Of The Caribbean, the formula seems a lot more familiar. A bit of a marriage of Richard Lester’s The Three Musketeers and Carry On Dick, it’s basically a period caper movie that combines three cornered hats and duelling pistols with the British love of nob jokes and a decent cast with just the right level of irreverence actually makes it work reasonably well. The jokes are a little hit and miss, but there are plenty of now familiar faces to spot in the background – including Matt Lucas and David Walliams of Little Britain fame – and it’s quite an enjoyable romp if you don’t take it too seriously.

Robert Carlyle is charismatic as the no-nonsense highwayman, Liv Tyler will send all of the boys’ hearts aflutter and Ken Stott is a very hissable villain making for a likeable enough pantomime that didn’t really deserve the mauling it took.



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