Eye For Film >> Movies >> Parting Shots (1999) Film Review
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
Michael Winner can't leave it alone. With Old Testament obstinacy, he insists on an eye for an eye. If the Death Wish movies haven't driven the message home and Dirty Weekend not debased the genre, Parting Shots makes it perfectly clear. Murder can be a good thing.
On the pretext that he is making a Kind Hearts And Coronets frightfully English serial killer spoof, he has gravelly rock singer Chris Rea (of all people) buy a gun in a pub and start knocking off anyone who has ever annoyed him. He doesn't care because he's been given six weeks to live.
The coppers (Gareth Hunt and a bunch of numbnuts) follow the trail of dead bodies, being cloddish, while Rea meets Felicity Kendal and thinks: "Corr, life might be worth livin' after all." The plot is cobbled together from second-hand ideas and given as much panache as Hush Puppies on a catwalk. By some miracle of persuasion, Winner has persuaded proper actors (Bob Hoskins, Ben Kingsley, Diana Rigg, Joanna Lumley, John Cleese, Oliver Reed) to join singer Rea in a distasteful piece of rubbish. If Winner is so keen on a vigilante style of justice, why doesn't he strangle his scripts before they give birth?Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001