Category: RocknRolla Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: September 15, 2008 | Publication: Female First at the Movies | Author: Helen Earnshaw
Forget what you read on the tabloids RocknRolla is a return to form for director Guy Ritchie as he revisitís the crime caper that brought him fame with Lock Stock and two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.
Bringing together a wealth of British acting talent, including Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson and Thandie Newton, RocknRolla is set to the backdrop of a seedy, offbeat landscape of modern London.
When a Russian mobster orchestrates a crooked land deal, millions of dollars are up for grabs, and all of London's criminal underworld wants in on the action, everyone from a dangerous crimelord to a sexy accountant, a corrupt politician and down-on-their-luck petty thieves collude and collide with one another in an effort to get rich quick.
This really is the Ritchie of old as he has produced a stylish movie as well as re-capturing the tongue in cheek comedy and swagger that made the likes of Lock Stock a hit in 1998.
The filmís major strong point is itís predominately British cast, and a very talented British cast at that. Gerard Butler changes genre again from the action of 300 to the rom com of PS I Love You now to a British gangster flick.
Butlerís character One two leads the Wild Bunch alongside Mumbles and Handsome Bob are small town crooks yet street smart who have learnt to play both sides of the fence.
The trio find themselves in league with Cole when they are hired to obtain a painting only for the picture to end up in the hands of crackhead musician Johny Quid. And with the funny turn as One Two Butler really does cement hit leading man status that has seen his career sore in the last eighteen months.
Lenny Cole is played by one of the most successful British actors of his generation Tom Wilkinson, fresh from the success of Michael Clayton. Larry Cole is the lethal head mobster and part of London's old mob regime who has built up a cosy network of crooked bureaucrats and corrupt politicians over the years.
But he is quickly losing ground to the wealthier foreign mob who are moving in on his territory.
However Ritchieís seemingly disinterest in female characters continues as Thandie Newton is desperately underused and when she does appear on screen she is just a bit of totty in designer clobber and she is unable to show off her ability which seems like such as waste.
Despite that this is a fast paced movie and even the down moments seem to be going at full throttle set to a thumping rock and roll soundtrack RocknRolla really is as accomplished as his early work.
And in true Ritchie style itís an intricate plot full of twist turns and coincidences that brings together all our main characters at the end of the film with some dark undertones of black humour it really is a romp of a ride.
Alright so it may not reinvent the wheel and the plot may have been seen a hundred times before but the witty script and the stylish way in which Ritchie shoots this film RocknRolla is a thoroughly enjoyable 114 minutes and with a sequel and a Sherlock Holmes film in the pipeline Ritchieís career very much is back on track.