The Weak in Review
Category: RocknRolla Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: November 5, 2008 | Publication: River Cities Reader | Author: Mike Schulz
RocknRolla is the latest comedy/thriller by Guy Ritchie, which means (1) you'll immediately be thrown into a complicated morass of double-dealings among a group of erudite, well-dressed British scoundrels with names such as One Two, Mumbles, and Handsome Bob; (2) you'll be expected to laugh at the brutal violence at least as often as you recoil from it; and (3) you'll realize that, in the end, hardly a lick of it makes any sense. None of this, though, is necessarily a terrible thing. RocknRolla may be old news from the creator of Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, but Ritchie at least writes grimly entertaining tough-guy dialogue, gets uniformly enjoyable performances from the likes of Tom Wilkinson, Idris Elba, Ludacris, Jeremy Piven, and a never-better Gerard Butler, and delivers several set pieces that are wonderfully funny and strange - a scene of Butler and Thandie Newton planning a heist (through subtitles) while dancing may be the best Tarantino sequence Tarantino never shot. And since Ritchie has never really shown any cinematic ambitions beyond giving audiences exactly what they expect of him, RocknRolla, even at its most retrograde, is certainly a less dispiriting experience than...
(goes on to include a review of "Zack and Miri Make a Porno")