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Before John Wick, tap into the vengeful-hitman film tradition with The Limey

There are so many streaming options available these days, and so many conflicting recommendations, that it’s hard to see through all the crap you could be watching. Each Friday, The Verge’s Cut the Crap column simplifies the choice by sorting through the overwhelming multitude of movies and TV shows on subscription services and recommending a single perfect thing to watch this weekend.

What to watch

The Limey, a 1999 crime picture written by Lem Dobbs and directed by Steven Soderbergh. Terence Stamp stars as Wilson, an aging British ex-con who rampages through the Los Angeles underworld, looking for anyone who can tell him what happened to his long-estranged daughter. The trail leads Wilson to Terry Valentine (Peter Fonda), a music industry bigwig who moonlights as a drug trafficker. As these two old rogues circle each other, Dobbs and Soderbergh ponder the legacies of these men and the actors who play them — both of whom were exemplars of masculine beauty and cool in the 1960s.

Why watch now?

Because John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum opens this weekend.

The long afterlife of the offbeat 2014 action thriller John Wick has been one of the more cheering developments of recent popular culture. The early John Wick trailers made it look like just another dopey B-movie starring the not-always-super-selective Keanu Reeves. But critics quickly spread the word that this film was something special: a refreshingly lean, witty, inventive shoot-’em-up about a retired assassin who goes after the thugs who killed his dog, then ends up wreaking havoc throughout a surprisingly orderly and stratified international network of criminal cartels. John Wick: Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 built up the mythology of that demimonde, pitting Reeves’ superhumanly lethal antihero against wave after wave of mercenary goons, all looking to take him out

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