Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren in The Good Liar. Picture: AP
Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren in The Good Liar. Picture: AP

MOVIE REVIEW: A semi-silly thriller with absurd ending

The Good Liar is a movie for people who think they could watch British acting legends Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen in just about anything.

This deceptively inconsistent, semi-silly thriller of sorts is certainly going to test this devotional stance to the limit.

It goes without saying that the teaming of Mirren and McKellen - their first as a screen duo - is by far and away the best thing about the movie.

Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren are the best part of The Good Liar. Picture: AP
Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren are the best part of The Good Liar. Picture: AP

She is Betty, a retired academic sitting on a rather large nest egg. He is Roy, a career conman who swiftly moves into the nest, then starts making tracks for the egg.

The pair meet via an online dating site, and the getting-to-know-each-other section of the story (based on the 2016 novel by Nicholas Searle) extracts the finest from both veteran performers.

At one point, Betty and Roy have a night out at a screening of the Tarantino movie Inglorious Basterds. There is definitely chemistry at work between the pair, but Roy is not the kind of guy who would let true love get in the road of a big payday.

 

Picture: AP
Picture: AP

 

As for Betty, she may not be the pushover that we - or for that matter, her rightfully suspicious son - think she is.

Unfortunately, once director Bill Condon must commit to cataloguing a collection of shock revelations and shifty intentions, the movie's fate is taken out of the assured hands of Mirren and McKellen.

All roads lead to what might be the most ridiculous ending of the year.

Not terrible, but not good enough to drop everything immediately for a look-see.

 

THE GOOD LIAR (MA15+)

Director: Bill Condon (Mr Holmes)

Starring: Helen Mirren, Ian McKellen, Russell Tovey, Jim Carter.

Rating: **1/2

Stars rise above a con descending


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