Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A Turkey Called Vincent

What a strange confection Vincent was (ITV1, last night, with Ray Winstone in the title role). The first ten minutes were shot in a jerky, disjointed style so I couldn't work out what the hell was going on. True, I was eating and reading a newspaper at the same time. But multi-tasking should be possible when watching light entertainment.
It wasn't helped by the fact that the actor playing the soon-to-be attempted murderer was recently in the same time-slot on ITV as a copper in The Vice. So I wrongly assumed he was one of private eye Vincent's colleagues rather than one of his clients.

After a while, they put down the steadycams and everything settled down to a plot and two sub-plots that were so mind-numbingly boring that I bailed out after an hour and went to bed.
The attempt at gritty realism (if that's what it was; who knows?) was undermined by some spectacular absurdities.
When Vincent breaks into his ex-wife's house, he turns off the electricity to install bugs in the power points. But she quickly twigs what he's done because the clocks on the VCR and other appliances are all flashing 0.00. As a former senior detective and now ace private investigator, surely he would have had the wit to reset the clocks to cover his tracks. But no. He's a Private Dick with the emphasis on Dick.

When the client bludgeons his wife to within an inch of her life and flees the scene, Vincent decides to track him down. He makes a junior sidekick sit outside the house and crime scene. Amazingly, the police had not bothered to place a copper outside the scene of an attempted murder. There was no blue and white tape, no forensic team. I know the police are overstretched but I don't think they leave the investigation of attempted murders to cack-handed private investigators.

I abandoned this nonsense at the point where the villain had got back into his house, presumably by the simple expedient of going round the back way. The junior private eye placed on observation looked astonished by this deviousness. He was played by Joe Absalom who has cornered the market in gormless teenage characters. In any re-make of Dad's Army he'd be Private Pike.
It also starred Suranne Jones, until recently the demented Karen in Coronation Street. It didn't exactly extend her range as an actress. She mostly stood outside the office smoking in the rain and gloom like one of those old Strand commercials.

You can tell me how it all ended if you wish. But you might be better telling someone who gives a shit.


At 8:15 PM, Blogger zaphod said...

You're never lonely with a strand. Is that how it went ?

At 7:50 AM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

The phrase was 'You're never alone with a Strand.'
But you've proved why the campaign was a famous disaster. Most people took it to mean 'Only sad, lonely bastards smoke Strand.'


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