RocknRolla-coaster of a Ride

Category: RocknRolla Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: November 12, 2008 | Publication: tigerweekly.com | Author: Scott Burns
Publication/Article Link:http://tigerweekly.com/article/11-12-2008/9756

Rating: A


With the price of admission for theaters sailing to upwards of $10 a flick, it’s best you get every penny of value for your investment.

And what better way to get your money’s worth than to go see Guy Ritchie’s latest cinematic endeavor, “RocknRolla”?

Guy Ritchie has made his fame in the film industry through deliberately constructing errant plots and shooting them directly at the audience at full velocity, relentlessly using the big screen as his own personal canvas of convoluted action and suspense. His films can most adequately be likened to flipbooks in the way they are formatted, both raw and graphic as the pages are turned from one daunting scene to the next. And for those who have become fans of his most recent work, “RocknRolla” certainly should not disappoint.

“RocknRolla” centers around the hunt for a cherished painting belonging to a notorious Russian Mobster who is trying to force his way into London’s flourishing real estate industry. For this, he seeks companionship with the help of old-school British gangster Lenny Cole, a cunning elder in the underground British crime scene who is more than happy to oblige in the hopes of furthering his own reputation.

The core of the story, however, revolves around the intricate relations of the ensemble cast. Gerard Butler, most notably known for his role as King Leonidas in the 2007 blockbuster “300”, plays the small time gangster ‘One Two’ along with his partner ‘Mumbles’ (Idris Elba). The two men are hurried into paying off a debt to Lenny Cole, which is how they run into Stella (Thandie Newton), a sultry number crunching accountant who sells them the location to the London bank where the Russians are preparing to make a large withdrawal. The film is narrated by Archie (Mark Strong), Cole’s unnerving hand of vengeance, who most usually can be seen slapping around his foolhardy henchmen in an attempt to straighten them out and set them apart from common street gangsters.

The wild card in the whole plot comes in the form of punk rock kid Johnny Quid, Lenny’s estranged stepson who is eager to thwart his stepfather’s plans in any way he can possibly imagine. Not even his own faked death can stand in the way of his daring desire to avenge his stepfather.

Of course, as in all of Ritchie’s films, the story is addled with intricate plot twist and turns that in the end knot the entire cast together into one elaborate entanglement of testosterone-driven madness, but perhaps it is best left to the viewer the assess the damage that is left from “RocknRolla” so each person may come up with their own interpretation.

While this newest franchise might not hold up as favorably to audiences as “Snatch and Lock,” or “Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” the truth remains that if audiences want entertainment, Ritchie’s films are always the best formula.

So say what you will about his previously works, but if there is one thing that is a constant of all Guy Ritchie projects, it is that the seat-straddling action will not leave you feeling cheapened or short sold.