Three And Out (15)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner24/04/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 108 mins

Enjoyable comedy-drama with a sharp script and strong performances from Mackenzie Crook and Colm Meaney.

What's it all about?
Mackenzie Crook stars as Paul Callow, a depressed London Tube driver who has the misfortune to have two people die under his train within three weeks. However, Paul sees a way out of his depression when his colleagues (Mark Benton and Rhashan Stone) inform him of the three and out rule: if one more person dies under his train before the month is out, he'll get a huge early retirement package.

Paul's subsequent search for potential suicides leads him to down-and-out Tommy Cassidy (Colm Meaney), when Paul saves him from jumping off the Holborn viaduct. Tommy agrees to do the deed in front of Paul's train, but first he wants to tie up some loose ends in his life, so they travel to the Lake District so that he can say goodbye to his estranged wife (Imelda Staunton) and daughter (Gemma Arterton).

The Good
Three and Out has attracted a fair amount of controversy over the last few weeks, but there's very little here for anyone to really get upset about. For example, the issue of suicide is addressed in a sensitive fashion rather than played for laughs and the film is keen to stress the psychological impact on tube drivers.

The performances are excellent, with Crook and Meaney developing a sparky chemistry that works well. There's also terrific support from Imelda Staunton (excellent as always) and particularly from Bond Girl-to-be Gemma Arterton, who surely deserves some sort of medal for artistic commitment for her gratuitous-but-not-unwelcome nude scene with Crook.

The Bad
That's not to say the film doesn't have its fair share of flaws - for example, a running gag involving Anthony Sher as a suicidal German who wants Paul to eat him is a) painfully unfunny and b) was done much better in The IT Crowd anyway.

Worth seeing?
In short, Three and Out is an entertaining and surprisingly moving comedy-drama with a decent script and strong performances. Worth seeing.

Film Trailer

Three And Out (15)
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Content updated: 22/07/2018 08:08

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