Three and Out
- Tom Dawson
- 24 April 2008
Heard the one about the suicidal 50-something Irishman Tommy (Colm Meaney) and the London tube driver and aspiring novelist Paul (Mackenzie Crook), who needs somebody to throw themselves under his train in order to collect a generous pay off from his bosses? That’s the set-up of the British black comedy Three and Out, which quickly turns into a road movie, for Tommy wants to spend his last weekend reconnecting with his estranged wife Rosemary (Imelda Staunton) and daughter Frankie (Gemma Arterton) up in the Lake District. And Paul doesn’t want to let the man who can liberate him from the urban grind out of his sight.
Efficiently executed by TV director Jonathan Gershfield, working from Steve Lewis and Tony Owen’s script, Three and Out proves an intermittently amusing affair. Supporting characters such as the heavily accented European gourmet cannibal (Antony Sher) are superfluous, and the filmmakers can’t resist the improbable romance between Frankie and Paul to demonstrate the latter’s emotional awakening. The film is actually at its most interesting in its more reflective moments, notably the conversations between Tommy and Rosemary, in which their characters explore their feelings of guilt, sadness and regret, and indeed it’s Meaney and Staunton who prove the pick of the cast.
General release from Fri 25 Apr.