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From cult Director Alex Cox (Repo Man (1984), Sid and Nancy (1986)) comes this modernized adaptation of Thomas Middleton's celebrated play from 1607. It tells the story of a man whose wife is murdered on their wedding day and his desire to exact revenge on the murderer. Set in a post-apocalyptic Liverpool of the future, Vindici (Christopher Eccleston - Let Him Have It (1991), Elizabeth (1998), 28 Days Later... (2002), Doctor Who (2005)) returns from a self-imposed exile to bring down those responsible for his wife's murder. While his family have fallen on hard times, the murderer, known as The Duke (Sir Derek Jacobi - The Day of the Jackal (1973), Gosford Park (2001), I, Claudius (1976)) - has become rich.
Alex Cox brings us a gleefully over-the-top adaptation of a Jacobean revenge play. Where Shakespeare was the high culture of his day, this piece (originally performed anonymously, presumably to shield its author from any repercussions due to its distinctly anti-authoritarian slant) plays out more like a 17th-century Leone movie. In this version, the action has been transferred to a vaguely-defined post-nuclear-war Liverpool, ruled over by an amoral Duke and terrorized by his violent sons.
The cast is great (especially Derek Jacobi and Christopher Eccleston) and the whole film is characterized by an intense spirit of fun. My only problem (as a yank) was that -- in spite of years spent enjoying British TV -- I found the combination of archaic syntax and scouse accents to be incomprehensible at times. Fortunately, the subtitles on the DVD made it much easier to follow the dialogue and plot line.
This certainly won't be to everyone's tastes, but it's a good one.
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