Three Businessmen ★★★★

I really enjoyed this. It's so playful and witty, but the first portion of it is set and shot in Liverpool and it's just great to see the city as I remember it being some twenty or so years ago. A lot has changed in the intervening years (the weather, of course, hasn't though - 9 times out of 10 when you step out of Lime Street you'll be greeted by drizzle!) but, just like Miguel Sandoval here, I too still managed to get lost in The Adelphi last year.

I wish I could say I was clever enough to spot where Tod Davies' story was going early on, but I didn't. Instead, I just went along for the ride on this uniquely eccentric road movie that takes in Rotterdam, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Almería, Spain whilst still ostensibly being Liverpool to its two businessmen (the third, played by Robert Wisdom, doesn't actually appear until the last act), played by Sandoval and director Alex Cox (the Fox brother that James and Edward don't talk about!), who are just trying to get themselves a bite to eat in the strange city.

Shades of Waiting For Godot can be observed in the Cox and Sandoval dynamic, bickering about whether the world is a good one or a bad one as they progress with their odyssey. Who knows? It's the only one we have. I particularly liked the inclusion of Debbie Harry covering Ghost Riders in the Sky over the end credits; a song about apparitions of the damned forever chasing a spectral herd across the infinite canvas of the sky. Comparisons to be drawn there too, clearly. Whilst the best gag has to be when, on the Liverpool underground, Cox relates how the Labour Party used to sing The Red Flag at party conferences; "The Labour Party sings a Bolshevik anthem?" the American asks incredulously. "They used to," Cox replies. "Now they just hum the theme from Chariots of Fire". Possibly the best, most succinct takedown of the attitudes of the then ruling Blairite New Labour that I've ever heard.

Mark liked these reviews