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In 1748, England is infested with highwaymen, such as Will Plunkett (Robert Carlyle), a London-based criminal working with a partner. However, very soon his partner Rob is killed by Thief Taker General Chance (Ken Stott), and Plunkett finds himself on the run from the local constabulary. This incident was witnessed by Captain James Macleane (Jonny Lee Miller), who was being taken to a debtor's prison. He also sees Plunkett's partner swallow a ruby, which he sees as his ticket out of debt, and, after narrowly escaping discovery by Chance, he goes to the cemetery and tries to exhume the body and retrieve the ruby. Unknown to him, Plunkett is also waiting there, and he forces Macleane to give the ruby to him. He then also swallows it, as they are both found by Chance's men. They go together to Newgate Prison, and Plunkett realises that, because of Macleane's social rank (he is a member of the gentry class), he can give the ruby to Macleane and he can use his influence to buy them both out of prison. This, despite protests from Macleane, starts a partnership which could be very successful, where they use Macleane's title to get to know the rich, and Plunkett's brains and planning to rob them later on. However, this all goes haywire when Macleane falls for the beautiful Lady Rebecca (Liv Tyler) and lets their secret slip...
The chemistry between Robert Carlyle and Jonny Lee Miller was of high standard already in "Trainspotting" 3 years prior to "Plunkett & McLeane" and I can see why they casted them both yet again against eachother. "Plunkett & McLeane" is a quite entertaining, fast-paced and modern take on the highwaymen genre. It is a period film, but with a less seriousness to it and with the goal to entertain than rather teach you one or two things about the 1700s. It´s about upper and lower class finding a way to work together to reach their goal that will take them away from their misery to the brave new world. I reckon it has a solid mix of comedy, action, drama with a twist of a lovestory to it. I liked as well the take on using a very modern soundtrack that did actually work within the film. The weak spot is Liv Tyler who can´t seem to really fit in her role in my opinion. Trivia: Plunkett & Macleane was a flop at the box office. The film opened on 1 October 1999 in 475 U.S. theaters, taking in US$244,765 during its first three days; total domestic earnings stand at US$474,900. Despite being panned by the critics, it was acclaimed by worldwide audiences and has gained a very strong cult following.
Not sure what the movie is trying to achieve. Thirty years ago this would have gone straight to video. Poor.
This is one of those films that I had never even heard about until I just so happened to come across in a box of VHS tapes being sold. I read the premise and decided to buy it and then forgot to watch it for a year. So, after forgetting to watch it for so long, I finally watched it when I saw it among the many VHS tapes (Yes, I still watch films in VHS format). While it will never be among the best adventure films I've ever seen, Plunkett & Macleane is still a hell of a lot of fun to watch.
While James Macleane is locked away in a debtor's prison, something extraordinary happens when he is broken out of his cell during a stagecoach robbery by a man named Will Plunkett and his partner in crime.
In the process of the heist, Plunkett's partner is shot by soldiers who have arrived on the scene shortly after swallowing a ruby. Plunkett fleas, and the man is left behind to face the wrath of General Chance, who proceeds to kill the man by gouging out his eye when he refuses to give information about Plunkett.
After witnessing the horrible murder and since his cell had a large hole in the wall, Macleane flees the debtor's prison and finds the burial site of Plunkett's dead partner to steal the ruby he had swallowed to pay back his debt. Plunkett shows up, however, and makes Macleane cut open the dead man and retrieve the item, which Plunkett then swallows.
The two men are captured by Chance's men and taken to prison. It's there, where Plunkett convinces Macleane to help him escape and the two then begin a friendship and a new life of crime as they begin stealing from the rich through highway robberies or elaborate heists.
But, when Macleane falls in love with a woman the two men robbed named Lady Rebecca, things threaten to take a turn for the worst, especially with Rebecca's family connections to politicians that want them dead. The two men must also contend with Macleane's lavish spending and gambling problems which also threaten to unravel their schemes.
The story, while familiar, is still a very fun heist story with an infectiously entertaining duo in the leads. The story still manages to be filled with action, romance, dirty jokes, foul language, and some politics thrown in for good measure - and all of it is fun and engaging to follow.
As for acting, Robert Carlyle is great as Plunkett, Johnny Lee Miller does a great job as the suave ladies man, Macleane, while Liv Tyler does a great job as the love interest, Rebecca. The acting across the board is pretty good, even when the other actors can be over the top. The acting is always entertaining and never dull for one moment, which is very important with all the bizarre characters found in this film.
This film will delight just about any adventure fan since it comes with plenty of action, plenty of heists, romance, dirty jokes, and some sexual content thrown in for good measure, complete with interesting characters who can be outrageous when they want to be. It might feel out of place for a film set in 1748, but who cares when it's this much fun?
It won't win any awards, but Plunkett & Macleane is a very entertaining film that gives the viewer plenty of popcorn-munching entertainment. If you enjoy adventure films, you might find a lot to like here.
A good cast can't save this film from a dreary plot and a charmless script.
I'm not sure if "historical" would be the right term for this movie, but brushing that aside, (Movie world who needs facts?), it's actually a pretty fun, cute little piece of watchability. One of those films you watch once, go, "Well it was better then I thought it would be...kinda" and then never ever watch again but still recommend to other people if only because you're that sort of person.
I thought it was a bl**dy good lauf! can't wait for it to make it to blu ray
[08/13]Kurzweiliger Kostümspaß, aber mehr leider auch nicht. Robert Carlyle ist großartig wie immer, Alan Cumming und Tommy Flanagan haben leider nur kleine Rollen.
The film has been shown once or twice on television in Finland, and I watched it finally. It was well acted and has interesting characters. On the other hand, as the only negative side to mention, some of the humor and scenes are bad, rude, ugly and in my view, stupid. On the other hand, it had a lot of atmosphere, well done music and Liv Tyler. Theres a taste of gritty realism, tension and enough to keep one interested in the plot. Also, it had a functioning, fun ending!
My sister really likes this, its a good film, black humour and good soundtrack.
I loved this movie - it had the kind of understated and subtle, intelligent humour that is all too rare these days. Witty, acerbic and thoroughly scurrilous. A titled brat with no brains and a very canny artisan who are both wanted by the law reluctantly join forces as highwaymen. Historically only as accurate as it suits the story at the time, it has a surreal quality that is enchanting. It's effects are exceedingly good considering the movie is set in the mid 18th Century, and all the grittiness and disgusting filth of England at the time, is captured very well. The character's are developed and fleshed out, from Jonny Lee Miller's Macleane's whoring antics to his development into highwayman and exhibitionary 'The Gentleman Highwayman' contrast well with Robert Carlyle's Plunkett, who's cynicism and honour show that you can love a thief and a criminal cos he has I quote [from the movie]: more nobility of soul in his little finger...than any of you bloated bastards has in your entire bodies!" If you haven't seen this cult classic, it's a must-see!