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Beautiful Creatures

Starring Rachel Weisz and Susan Lynch
Screenplay by Simon Donald
Directed by Bill Eagles
website: www.beautiful-creatures.com


IN SHORT: Enjoyable British comedy. [Rated R for strong violence and sexuality, drug use and language. 92minutes]

Oh, them wacky Brits. Who else would start a movie with a pair of abusive boyfriends, wind up with a pile of corpses and call the whole thing a comedy? Excepting some of the accents, which (in voice over narration or dialog) are particularly hard to get through if you don't get to watch the lips moving at the same time, Beautiful Creatures is a traditional "two strangers wind up buddy buddy" movie which will work nicely on your local machine. We rely on moving lips for the heavier accented flicks, which means we missed most of the setup (it has something to do with a missing set of golf clubs and a pawn shop) and the joke which hits before the final credits roll. Thus the need for tape, reflected in the rating below.

The man missing the golf clubs is Tony (Iain Glen) and the woman who allegedly pawned 'em is Dorothy (Susan Lynch). Dorothy has a dog named Pluto and Tony has a warped sense of revenge which leaves the mutt pink and in pain. Dorothy wants out of the relationship and is waiting on the corner, bus ticket in hand when a righteous sense of anger wells up. Across the street, Brian McMinn (Tom Mannion) is whomping on his girlfriend Petula (Rachel Weisz). Brian is drunk, which only means he beats on Petula a little more than when he is sober. Petula is blonde and dim and utterly devoted, for whatever reason dim blondes may have. Money? Perhaps. Brian has got it. His brother Ronnie (Maurice Roeves) has a lot more of it. But that's neither here nor there when Dorothy lets loose with a large piece of pipe across the back of Brian's skull. From such small things are full grown, firm friendships formed. Brian's just kayoed and the pair drag him back to Dorothy's apartment to sober up in the bathtub. Next thing you know, Brian's body is cold and dead on the bathroom floor.

Yep, it's the old "we had nothing to do with his death but no one is going to believe it so we better come up with something else" kind of story. In this particular case, the fact that Petula's blondness is played for all it's worth keeps the tone fairly comedic. Before you know it Petula is in possession of a severed finger and a ransom note. A crooked police detective (Alex Norton) has doubled a million dollar ransom demand for two -- he's got a thing for blondes. And the brother who's financing the deal wants fifteen minutes alone with the "kidnappers".

No, we're not going to tell you how an accident resulted in a ransom demand because it's gruesomely funny. That's the important part about wacky comedy. You should never see the gags coming. Beautiful Creatures doesn't just make the gags bigger. It veers off in all sorts of directions that you don't see coming.

The comedy and the violence are laid on thick; kind of like the way an amateur painter does an impressionist canvas. Just toss everything you can think of into the mix and see what sticks. We get guns and syringes and ransoms and conspiracies and abuse and revenge and some kidlet meeting the stroke mag model of his dreams. You either wade through the thing, plucking the diamonds from the dross or you get lost. Excepting the accent problems at the beginning and end, Beautiful Creatures was fairly easy to understand. There is absolutely nothing politically correct about the humor that runs through the movie. Rachel Weisz' performance as Petula doesn't drag out the typical blonde ditz personality. Her Petula is simple but not stupid, though she could use some work on her comprehension of instructions skills. You'll understand when you see the film.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Beautiful Creatures, he would have paid . . .

$4.00

Pay per view level for most of us. If your preferences run to the arthouse, you'll not be disappointed in this comedy on the big screen.

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