Category: RocknRolla Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: September 26, 2008 | Publication: Box Office Prophets | Author: David Mumpower
Box Office Prophets loves Guy Ritchie. If you have been reading this web site for any length of time, you know this already. Given this knowledge, we are obviously head over heels in love with the idea of the vaunted director returning to his roots in RocknRolla. As was the case with his classics, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, Ritchie will again be telling a story involving criminals trying to pull off an overly complicated heist. And we so cannot wait to see it.
This particular tale of “no honor among thieves” chicanery involves a Russian mobster. In order to make millions of dollars (well, pounds), he coordinates a “crooked land deal”. When other felons realize the amount of money in play, all of the major elements in the criminal underground of London start trying to get their fair share of the prize. If you have seen prior Guy Ritchie films, you already know that this will not end well for most if not all of them. And if you haven’t seen prior Guy Ritchie films, what in the Blue Hell are you waiting for? Update your Netflix queue pronto!
The cast of Ritchie’s first post-Madonna is stellar. Everybody’s favorite Spartan, Gerard Butler, headlines as the inscrutably named One Two. Goddess of Love Thandie Newton portrays One Two’s love interest, an accountant who apparently isn’t hung up on names. Tom Wilkinson fulfills his contractual obligation to appear in every fifth movie by playing Lenny Cole, a mob boss of a group whose power is on the downswing. Idris Elba of 28 Weeks Later, rap star Ludacris and Entourage icon Jeremy Piven round out the name players in RocknRolla.
Addressing the elephant in the living room, Guy Ritchie’s career went into a tailspin after he entered into a relationship with Madonna. Whether she was the causality for this or not remains to be seen, but the timing is noteworthy. After his first two movies were instant classics, he released a terrible movie starring her named Swept Away. This was followed by the equally disappointing 2005 release, Revolver. In point of fact, an argument could be made that the only thing good Ritchie has done since he met Madonna was his short film, Star, for the BMW series, The Hire. This is troublesome, but seeing Ritchie returns to his roots in gangster cinema is a good sign. Also, Thandie Newton has given away the fact that RocknRolla is the first release in a planned trilogy from Ritchie, which would indicate that this storyline has given him a lot of fertile ideas for the future. Here’s hoping Madonna doesn’t ruin those, too.