Where was I 14 years ago when this came out. Maybe I wouldn’t have appreciated it then but I do now. Loosely based on the story of Will Plunkett and Captain Jame Macleane, who were highway men in the mid-18th Century England.
This movie is so underrated. First it gets mislabeled as a comedy (darn you Netflix), it’s more adventure than anything. Johnny Lee Miller stars as the the indebted Macleane, sent off to prison for debt and other crimes when the carriage is he’s traveling in is robbed by Will Plunkett (Robert Caryle). Plunkett’s compatriot is killed during the robbery attempt but not before swallowing a valuable ruby.
Later they meet again at the cemetery when Macleane is trying to dig up and retrieve the jewel. They are captured and both taken to prison but not before Plunkett swallows the ruby. They end up using said jewel to bribe their way out of prison. After which they agree to form a partnership using Macleane’s ability to converse and associate with the rich as a gentleman and Plunkett’s ability for highway robbery.
Not only is how they pull off these heist entertaining but the secondary story is interesting as well. Of Lords wanting to create a government police force not contend to rely on the private enforcers like those lead by the sadistic Mr. Chance (Ken Stott). Then there is the beautiful Rebecca (Liv Tyler) who to extract herself from being forced into a relationship with Mr. Chance. This movie also has no shortage of colorful characters including the underused and very pretty Alan Cummings as Rochestor, also Dixon and Winterborn, hip partiers who seem to show up at every event always with something to say.
Just ignore the anachronisms, I think they actually add to the story not take away from it. I can’t really think of anything I didn’t like about this film except that I didn’t see it sooner.