Monday, May 18, 2009


2008. Rated R, 114 minutes.
Director: Guy Ritchie. Starring Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Idris Elba, Toby Kebbell, Thandie Newton.

Plot: One Two (Butler) and Mumbles (Idris Elba) are trying to figure out how to pay old school gangster Lenny Cole (Wilkinson) the $2 million they owe him after a deal falls through. Meanwhile, Lenny is trying to keep the same from happening to his deal with a wealthier Russian investor/gangster. And they're all trying to figure out who is the informant that keeps getting everyone locked up.

The Good: In typical Guy Ritchie fashion, we get great circular story-telling, tough talking yet not as smart as they think they are bad guys and funny dialogue. We also get funny violence which is hard to do without totally sinking your movie. Another thing Ritchie consistently delivers is excellent performances from his actors. This proves to be no exception. Tom Wilkinson gives us the flashiest performance while Butler, Elba and Tom Hardy who plays Handsome Bob play off each other quite nicely. The two performances that make the movie tick however are Thandie Newton's almost lone female and Toby Kebbell's turn as drug addicted rock star Johnny Quid.The Bad: It's a bit derivative. First, it's definitely a Guy Ritchie gangster flick so it feels familiar right from the start if you've seen some of his other work. The Wild Bunch, as our gang of lovable bandits is called, feels very much like the crew from the Ocean's movies. Finally, the very very ending that shamelessly sets us up for the sequel, The Real RocknRolla we're told, is peculiar in both content and execution. It seemingly remakes a certain someone into a totally different character so he can start the sequel with a clean slate.

The Ugly: Everything that happens whenever Victor is asked to "join us."

Recommendation: This is going to sound a bit odd. I recommend it moreso to people who enjoy gangster/crime movies but haven't seen any of Ritchie's other work. People who have will likely enjoy it but may get a "been there, done that" feeling. Still, those people might want to see it anyway just to get in on the ground floor of what Ritchie is promising will be a trilogy.

The Opposite View: Mike McGranaghan, The Aisle Seat

What the Internet Says: 7.4/10 on (5/18/09), 59% on, 53/100 on

MY SCORE: 7/10

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