Intermission review

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Step out of the blinding Emerald hype-light and it's clear that this swaggering ensemble piece doesn't quite hit the bullseye. Still, lower your expectations and John Crowley's Dublin-set crime flick at least finds the target.

Playing the interlocking narrative game, Crowley shuffles a deck of tales set in a down-at-heel Ireland and deals them out with confidence. Holidaying from Hollywood, Colin Farrell unleashes an impenetrable Dublin drawl as Lerhiff, a lowlife crim out to duck the long arm of hardnosed lawman Jerry Lynch (Colm Meaney). Lehriff's plan to do over a local bank brings him into the orbit of supermarket shelf-stacker John (Cillian Murphy), whose girlfriend (Kelly Macdonald) has just run off with the bank's middle-aged manager Sam (Michael McElhatton)...

And that's just the core tale, Crowley also turning to various assorted friends, relatives, acquaintances and strangers to stitch together his patchwork quilt of a movie. Inevitably, it gets messy at times, but strong use of music and some unexpected wit is always close at hand to help power things along.

Of the actors, Farrell will undoubtedly bag the headlines, but this is really an ego-free ensemble zone where everyone does a job and Meaney is on particularly fine form. Shredding celluloid as the vicious but oddly sentimental copper Lynch, he easily holds his own against Farrell's moody looks and burning charisma. Not many can claim that.

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