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High Heels and Low Lifes

A SORT of 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' meets 'Thelma and Louise'

high heels and low lifes

A SORT of 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' meets 'Thelma and Louise' in this likeable but forgettable action comedy from the director of 'Bean'.

Shannon (Driver) and Frances (McCormack) are two friends living in London. Frances is a struggling American actress, and Shannon is an overworked casualty nurse.

The duo share one very major similarity, both of their lives seem to be going nowhere.

While Frances is struggling to make ends meet, Shannon is living with her anorak 'sound sculptor' boyfriend, Ray, who is more concerned in tuning into strangers' mobile phone conversations via his radio scanner than actually spending any time with her.

After a fight which ends with Ray storming out, the girls return from a boozy night out on the town just in time to overhear - via the scanner - a live broadcast of a gang led by the vicious Mason (McNally) robbing a local safety deposit bank.

After failing to convince the police, the enterprising ladies devise a cunning plan to blackmail the criminals by calling them and demanding hush money.

But they soon discover that there is no such thing as a simple phone call after their plan goes spectacularly awry, pitching them into a world of trouble.

They are thrust into a frantic game of cat-and-mouse with the Elgar-loving-trigger-happy Mason and his rather camp gangland boss, Kerrigan (Sir Michael Gambon), while simultaneously managing to stay ahead of the two doltish police detectives (Mark Williams and Kevin Eldon) who are supposedly hot on their heels.

The jokes come thick and fast, but are pretty hit and miss, as both the plot and the pace of the film go OTT and events become increasingly silly as the dynamic duo, the cops and the robbers chase each other around London.

Seriousness takes a back seat to slap-stick as the protagonists almost kill themselves trying to get one up on each other, and the whole thing ends in an hilariously bombastic climax featuring more armoury than both Schwarzenegger and Stallone had access to put together.

The cast are appealing in what could have been very flat, one-dimensional roles, and on the whole performances are good.

Director Mel Smith gives proceedings a visual flair. The caper parodies, and set pieces are well executed, especially the slick, rather dizzying use of Sixties-style split-screen montage editing.

On the whole High Heels and Low Lifes is the perfect movie for a good, if disposable, night out at the cinema. The film is great popcorn fodder - fun and vastly enjoyable at the time, but instantly forgettable afterwards.


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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