TIFF 08 Recap Part 1 (blog)
Category: RocknRolla Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: September 15, 2008 | Publication: blogspot.com | Author: CS
Herald as return to the world he knows best (it seems everyone has happily agreed that “Revolver” never happened), “RocknRolla” is Guy Ritchie’s latest London gangster opus. Featuring an all-star cast, the film is about a London crime boss (Tom Wilkinson) who tries to acquire some local real estate via an illegal deal with his Russian counterpart. When two local hoods (Gerard Butler and Idris Elba), with the assistance of a bored accountant (Thandie Newton), steal money from the Russian; they inadvertently set off a series of events that will have everyone, from a faded rock stars to crazed hitmen, double crossing each other.
While a fun movie “RocknRolla” is hardly anything new. Even by Guy Ritchie standards it pales in comparison to “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch”. All the typical Guy Ritchie elements are here: a convoluted plot, dark humour, violent shootouts, quick edits, chase scenes, monologues that give mundane things (such as cigarettes) philosophical importance, etc. The majority of the performances are over-the-top, especially Wilkinson, but you pretty much get the sense that the actors having a ball. Which leads me to a major complaint with the film, the cast is too big. A lot of the characters in the film serve no real purpose. As music producers, Jeremy Piven and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, basically walk around looking scared for most of their scenes. Their characters could have been cut completely. I also think it is a shame to have Piven was not given a better role. If anyone can let loose on screen it is Jeremy Piven, the fact that he is underused here is downright criminal. While “RocknRolla” is a mindlessly enjoyable movie, it by no means showcases Ritchie’s true potential as a filmmaker.