Plot: What’s it about?
Virgil Guppy (Hans Matheson) has a beautiful girlfriend named Fiona (Beth Winslet), a group of powerful friends, and he’s just added another element, a gorgeous Jaguar automobile. He works as a market trader and while he has the look, the woman, and the crew for the part, he’s never found much success in the business realm. His life is still in the fast lane and better than he could imagine, although all that can change in an instant, as he soon discovers. It all starts when he notices some problems with his new car and is told to forget about a solution, as all sales are final and he can kiss off, as far as the sellers care. Soon enough, the police ask him about his new car and when they have a look inside the trunk, a corpse is revealed and now Virgil has been framed, which sends him into a real downward spiral. As time passes, he learns his woman is cheating on him and she dumps him soon after, which leaves Virgil with only broken shards of his former life. Can he and some new friends manage to get him back on track and cleared of the charges, or will this dark tunnel continue even deeper for Virgil?
Although the case makes this seem like a Gone in 60 Seconds clone, Bodywork is nothing close to that film, aside from that fact that both have cars involved. Instead, this is a British thriller that would be better compared to Snatch or the like, in terms of marketing ties. It has a multitiered story that revolves around a single character and while it can move a bit fast at times, it remains on course and is never hard to follow. Bodywork moves at a brisk pace and has a distinct edge to it, so it deals with some darker subject matter, though not too dark. The film explores themes of murder, betrayal, drug use, and other assorted fun stuff, and in addition, contains a marked amount of violence. The violence and blood seem in place here however, as the film demands those elements and without them, the story would lack the same impact. The movie has decent writing & direction, while a few cast member ramble in nice performances, especially Beth Winslet (90 Days), sister of the famous Kate Winslet. This is a solid, often inventive movie and while it didn’t get much press, I think it will find an audience on home video, as it more than deserves one.
Video: How does it look?
Bodywork is presented in a 1.85:1 widescreen transfer, which is not enhanced for widescreen televisions. The lack of added resolution is obvious, as the image looks softer than less refined than it should, which is a let down. Even so, the end result is more than watchable and shouldn’t disappoint too much. The colors look a tad muted, but that could be intentional, as the movie does have some visual quirks. I found contrast to be stable, but due to the already mentioned softness, it isn’t as defined as I would like. I doubt the image here will dazzle anyone, but it covers the basics, so no hard feelings, though it should be anamorphic, without a doubt.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included stereo option is clean and acceptable in all respects, but it isn’t too memorable in the end. The dialogue is the main issue here and it sounds good, with no volume or clarity issues to report. The music is also well presented, but seems a little restrained and as such, I think a surround track could open this flick up a little. The same goes for the sound effects, which are passable here, but could use a boost at times. In any event, the audio seems in basic order and as such, no serious complaints from me on this one. This disc also includes optional subtitles in English, Spanish, and French, in case you’ll need those.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes the film’s trailer.