The Good Liar (2019)

Bill Condon directs Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren and Russell Tovey in this thriller where an ageing conman targets a widow who might just be his equal.

For the first hour this is a spritely if unspectacular entertainer. McKellen relishes playing the untrustworthy gent with a barely suppressed nasty side. You eagerly anticipate the moment where Mirren gets wise and turns the tables on him. Then the source material overpowers the adaptation. Flashbacks and long forgotten history are revealed in detail and while you never might guess the whys and hows of our rogue’s downfall, you do find yourself not really caring. An unguessable rug pull laboured over just when swords should be crossed and comeuppances delivered kind of sucks the fun out a previously light-footed film. The Good Liar ends on a heavy handed clunk that’s might work in a novel but struggles to gel with the film we were casually enjoying.

5

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