Film review: Whole Lotta Sole

by Helene Wong / 10 January, 2013
The action’s confined, the suspense is barely sustained, but at least it’s shot for pace and efficient storytelling, says Helene Wong.
Whole Lotta Sole
Whole Lotta Sole


Bulging with characters – 13 of them introduced in the first 10 minutes, including a baby who must be counted as he’s integral to the plot – Whole Lotta Sole is an Irish crime dramedy from 2011 whose release here in holiday time is well judged. This is because although it starts out darkly enough, largely because of David O’Hara’s menacing turn as a Belfast gangster called – what else? – Mad Dog Flynn, it soon evolves into an innocuous hostage comedy that leaches away the bulk of the tension.

Never mind; Flynn is merely one character in a multi-ring circus of subplots that director Terry George and co-writer Thomas Gallagher contrive to complicate with linked characters, misunderstandings and conflicts, and miraculously it all fits together rather cleverly.

It is at least one subplot too far and thus too thin, but you can’t have everything. What you do get, inter alia, are criminals both big-league and petty, police, refugees, father-son issues, romance, the SAS, the MoD and the IRA. You also get some good Irish actors (joining O’Hara are Colm Meaney and Martin McCann), and one Yank, Brendan Fraser, who, in the company of all the mad Irish, comes over like a vanilla voice of reason.

There are weapons, mostly old, and fish – because the film’s title is the fish market where the main action kicks in. George (In the Name of the Father, Hotel Rwanda) ditches seriousness and just has fun with this one. It’s no Dog Day Afternoon. The action’s confined, the suspense is barely sustained, but at least it’s shot for pace and efficient storytelling. I predict a future of reruns on telly.

Rating: 2.5/5

WHOLE LOTTA SOLE, directed by Terry George

Films are rated out of 5: 1 = abysmal; 5 = amazing
MostReadArticlesCollectionWidget - Most Read - Used in articles
AdvertModule - Advert - M-Rec / Halfpage

Latest

The Guns of Navarone writer knew he had to have a Kiwi hero
71551 2017-04-26 00:00:00Z History

The Guns of Navarone writer knew he had to have a …

by Charles Hamlin

When Alistair Stuart MacLean sent his heroes up a sheer cliff, he knew he had to have a New Zealander in charge.

Read more
NZ spied on Japan to help US - NSA document
71615 2017-04-26 00:00:00Z World

NZ spied on Japan to help US - NSA document

by Craig McCulloch

Leaked US documents reveal Kiwi spies gathered information about Japan at a whaling conference, then passed it onto the NSA ahead of a crucial vote.

Read more
Mustard with your mustelid? The future of ethical protein eating
70342 2017-04-26 00:00:00Z Innovation

Mustard with your mustelid? The future of ethical …

by Margo White

If we want to feed the masses without wrecking the planet with more intensive agriculture, we might need to reframe our attitude to insects.

Read more
Thomas Oliver is in a soul frame of mind
71574 2017-04-26 00:00:00Z Music

Thomas Oliver is in a soul frame of mind

by James Belfield

Last year’s Silver Scroll winner has a new album and is all set to go on tour.

Read more
Art of disruption: Fafswag's alternative look at the Pacific body
70635 2017-04-26 00:00:00Z Arts

Art of disruption: Fafswag's alternative look at t…

by Anthony Byrt

A group of young artists are making sure their voices are heard in the discussion of decolonisation and the representation of Pacific bodies.

Read more
My life in clothes: Rebecca Zephyr Thomas on glamour and grunge
70622 2017-04-26 00:00:00Z Style

My life in clothes: Rebecca Zephyr Thomas on glamo…

by Rose Hoare

Photographer Rebecca Zephyr Thomas describes how an anti-fashion phase has stuck with her through her life.

Read more
Phil Goff's half year looms with big fiscal hopes still alive
71557 2017-04-25 00:00:00Z Politics

Phil Goff's half year looms with big fiscal hopes …

by Todd Niall

Auckland's mayor Phil Goff is approaching his six-month mark in office saying he believes his two big budget ideas will eventually come through.

Read more
The forgotten tragedy of Kiwi heroes and the inspiration of The Guns of Navarone
71507 2017-04-25 00:00:00Z History

The forgotten tragedy of Kiwi heroes and the inspi…

by Charles Hamlin

A forgotten tragedy befell our first Special Forces in Churchill’s second bid for the Dardanelles.

Read more