Revengers Tragedy

Transposing Thomas Middleton's 1607 play to a post-apocalyptic Liverpool circa 2011, Cox's film provides an anything-goes location for the original's tongue in cheek plotting, vividly sardonic language and gleeful summation of the blood and thunder machinations of the Jacobean stage. Against a suitably distressed post-industrial landscape decorated with swirling clubgear costumery, the revolt of the underclass proceeds apace as the snarling Vindici (Eccleston) manoeuvres against the all-ruling Duke (Jacobi), responsible for poisoning his bride on their wedding day. The stylistic intention, presumably, was old meets new with a Luhrmann-like flourish, but the modest resources on display result in a look somewhere between threadbare Jarman and school play. One struggles to be impressed. Regrettably, the rhubarbing supporting players hardly deserve to be in the same picture as Eccleston's energised, razor-sharp delivery and Izzard's rich portrayal of whimsically decadent son and heir Lussurioso.

Release details

Duration: 109 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Alex Cox
Screenwriter: Frank Cottrell Boyce
Cast: Christopher Eccleston
Eddie Izzard
Derek Jacobi
Jean Butler
Sophie Dahl
Anthony Booth
Diana Quick
Alex Cox
Margi Clarke
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