Three And Out (15)
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Time Out says
Tue Apr 22 2008Having one passenger fall under his train makes distracted driver Paul Callow (Mackenzie Crook) look unfortunate, but by the second accident in under a month he starts to appear distinctly careless. Paul is played by the fish-eyed, sad-sack actor Mackenzie Crook, so he already looks miserable, but he cheers up considerably when work colleague, Ash (Rhashan Stone) informs him of the hush-hush ‘three and out’ rule – three deaths in one month and you get paid off. So, impecunious, aspirant writer Paul hatches a plan to scour London for a volunteer suicide and chances upon – as you do – Colm Meaney’s desperate Tommy who is about to jump off Holborn Viaduct…
It was only a matter of time before ‘The Office’ star Crook was offered a lead in a Brit-com; but first-time director Jonathan Gershfield has a hard time harnessing his talents. In ‘Three and Out’s’ implausible, over-familiar and poorly written (by Steve Lewis and Tony Owen) early scenes, he offers a low-key presence – somewhere between hapless innocent, frightened rabbit and presumptuous fool. But things start to improve – slightly – as the movie develops into a more orthodox buddy movie and he’s shouldered out of the way by Meaney’s bolshier turn as repentant carouser, Tommy.
There are minor shades of ‘Withnail & I’ – as the mismatched pair head to the Lake District in a vintage Merc to facilitate Tommy’s dying wish to touch base with spikey, abandoned ex, Rosemary (Imelda Staunton) and daughter, Frankie (Gemma Arterton) – but it’s too gauche, too derivative and merely sporadically amusing.
Author: Wally Hammond