review for Plunkett & Macleane on AllMovie

Plunkett & Macleane (1999)
by Karl Williams review

Jake Scott, the son of director Ridley Scott, makes his feature film debut with this stylish, energetic period adventure that predates the summer 2001 pictures Moulin Rouge and A Knight's Tale by setting its action to an anachronistic rock music score. The modern influences don't stop there, from the blitzkrieg of lightning-fast, music video-style edits to the overly contemporary acting styles of some of the film's leads. Liv Tyler seems particularly out of place, a normally solid presence who in this adventure seems to have been transported directly to the 18th century by way of a San Fernando Valley mall. Trainspotting (1996) co-stars Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle pair up nicely once again and have some infectious onscreen chemistry that serves their disparate leads well, but there ought to be more class tension and a sense of each discovering the other's personality that the film sorely lacks (it's called "character development" for directors that need a crash screenwriting course). The real-life shenanigans of these two particular outlaws would probably make for a decent picture but Plunkett & Macleane (1999), despite some visceral panache and a talented cast, isn't going to be the film that transforms its protagonists into the Butch and Sundance of the powdered wig set.