DVD Tuesday: 'RocknRolla'...
Category: RocknRolla Reviews | Posted by: stagewomanjen
Article Date: January 29, 2009 | Publication: The Gate | Author: W. Andrew Powell
Between the highs (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, or Snatch) and lows (Swept Away, or Marrying Madonna) of his career, writer and director Guy Ritchie has shown a fixation for crime-riddled action films with a particular sense of humour. And for good reason. Look no further than the aforementioned highs and you’ll see Ritchie at his best, complete with big laughs and big action.
After the dismal failure of Swept Away, and then Revolver though, Ritchie also had a lot to prove this time out, so it’s no wonder that he went back to his roots, opting for a film that shares a lot in common with his original hits.
Gerard Butler stars as One Two, a freewheeling thief working for Lenny Cole (Tom Wilkinson), a criminal lightweight trying to grease the wheels for Uri (Karel Roden), the new Russian property hotshot in town. Both of the criminals find trouble though as Stella (Thandie Newton), Uri’s accountant, secretly helps One Two and his friends make off with the deal money, while someone else wanders off with Uri’s lucky painting; the combination of which leads to broken bones, bloody wounds, and a few bodies.
RocknRolla saunters, struts, bleeds, and wanders all over the place, making it one of Ritchie’s more amusing films, but certainly not his best.
Butler, Newton and Toby Kebbell as Johnny Quid, the RocknRolla himself, give the script a shake, and rattle out a few of the film’s best moments, but it’s still very slow to build, and not nearly entertaining enough. The film also never finds a way to make this big, impressive cast gel.