Rocknrolla Movie Review
Category: RocknRolla Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: November 8, 2008 | Publication: moviesonline.ca | Author: MoviemanX
I was skeptical about watching this one, I was. It's been a while since I've been impressed with anything Ritchie, with his last few outings being as bad as they were (the painfully confusing "Revolver" and the vomit-inducing, Madonna starring "Swept Away" bit of "rubbish"). I saw the trailer a few weeks ago and got a slight tingle of excitement, as it reminded me of what made Guy our guy in the past, stuff like "Snatch" and "Lock, Stock..." Some friends convinced me to go last night, and I did. And I had fun. And I like Guy Ritchie again. Hooray.
The story is perfect for a Guy Ritchie rough-and-tough Brit crimer, chock full of interesting characters and hilarious moments, intricate though storylines never trip over one another. Let's see if I can lay it out for you, reader, without giving anything away...*deep breathe* Ooooookay Gerard Butler stars as OneTwo, a very amateurish crook who rolls with his two pals, Mumbles and Handsome Bob, ripping off bags of money from transacting accountants. They get their tips from another accountant, played quite sexily (that's not a word, is it?) by Thandie Newton. On the other side of town, a very rich, as-professional-as-they-get crook, Lenny Cole (played excellently by Tom Wilkinson) is making a big deal with Russian entrepeneur Uri, played by Karel Roden. Roden, as a show of good business faith, lends Mr. Cole his lucky painting while the deal endures negotiations. Cole has the painting no longer than a day when his rockstar stepson Johnny Quid (Toby Kebbel, a must-see) steals it. THEN Newton's character, Stella, tips One2 off about the transfer of Uri's money headed to Cole, One2 and his boys rip the money off and use it to pay their debt back to Cole for a real estate issue they had earlier. This all happens in the first hour of the film. Intricate, like I said. So, Cole heads out, trying to make the Uri thing work by trying to find the painting and figure out why these accountants keep getting ripped off (Stella is in with Uri as his accountant, so she always knows when the money goes out). Side stories blossom everywhere with a not so heterosexual Handsome Bob, a drug fueled Johhny Quid, and two very straightforward American rock club owners played by Ludacris and Ari from Entourage. If you can keep your head on straight for the film's 114 minutes, you should be able to keep up with everything.
The story and its structure are major key points for the film, but there are other areas where it shines as well. Gerard Butler manages to keep the wacky story and all of its crazy characters grounded with his performance, and Wilkinson knocks your socks off with his turn as a cockney brit crime boss play on Lenny Cole...it makes you wonder, why hasn't he done this before, and if he has, where was I for it? He seems born to play this part, just right, just like Guy Ritchie was born to make movies like Rocknrolla.
Speaking of that guy, directing is well done, and it's very much to do with what I mentioned up top: Ritchie was born to make this kind of thing. You're still able to catch fantastic performances out of these characters in the fast paced fury of wackness. The story comes together well and works just right all the way to the end.
There's a few spurts of action in the film, but you take it in with a glass-is-half-full perspective since Rocknrolla's editing/cinematography feels energized enough to act as one long action sequence. The real action that does happen is often humorous and simply adds to the good time everyone is already having. That, reader, is the reason to see this movie, plain and simple: It was fun. That's it.
8 stars of 10