Schoolboyish script but cracking cast
Category: RocknRolla Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: September 12, 2008 | Publication: Eastbourne Herald and Gazette | Author: Laura Sonier
ROCKNROLLA had been hailed as a triumphant return to form for Guy Ritchie.
After the early success of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, he then blotted his copybook with the little seen, but much derided, Swept Away (starring 'the missus') and Revolver.
Ritchie has now returned to what he does best – London gangsters and shaggy dog stories.
However, 'Ritchie's best' is still not terribly interesting.
He has a great eye, can drum up a cracking cast (Tom Wilkinson, Gerard Butler, Idris Elba – from The Wire – Thandie Newton and Toby Kebbell) and the film trots along with a fair amount of vim and vigour.
However, what Ritchie cannot do is pen a decent script and tell a decent story.
Frankly, all the characters are so unlikeable it's a mystery why he decided to create them in the first place.
Lock, Stock focused on a bunch of cheeky scallywags which the audience could root for.
But RocknRolla has a cast of drug addicts, hit men, dodgy dealers, crooked accountants and murderers.
Elba, used to the juicy Stringer Bell character in the excellent The Wire, must have wept when he read the script and realised the paucity of intellect and inventiveness in the writing.
But despite the slightly schoolboyish script – complete with a dash of racism and homophobia – Ritchie and the cast still make the most of what's on offer, with Butler and Kebbell standing out among the excellent cast.
If only Ritchie could marry his obvious directing talents (and actor-wrangling ablities) to someone's else's good story, he could have a real hit on his hands.