Sunday, 18 October 2009

Film Review: ROCKNROLLA (2008)

Director: Guy Ritchie
Running time: 110 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 15

Watched on Sky+ Saturday 17th October 2009.


Having previously watched and enjoyed both Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and Snatch. (2000), I was quite interested to see this film. Not straying very far from the territory of gangland London, Guy Ritchie sticks with what he knows and what he does best. A complicated plot would probably cause many to give up, but I stuck it out to the end. It’s a tale of deception, double-cross, rock n roll and lies. I’ll try to give you an outline.

Two guys, ‘One Two’ and Mumbles, are double-crossed by gangster Lenny Cole and end up owing him a large amount of money. Fortunately, Lenny, who has the council in his pocket, has just made a deal with a Russian businessman, Uri Omovich, who has leant Lenny his ‘lucky’ painting. Now, Uri is using an accountant, Stella, to handle the transaction, and Stella has hired ‘One Two’ and Mumbles to steal the money that Uri is paying to Lenny for getting him planning permission for his building project. With it so far? The guys steal the money and pay off Lenny. Unfortunately, Lenny’s estranged and rock-star stepson breaks into his house and steal’s Uri’s painting. This leaves Uri needing to find more money to pay Lenny off, Lenny panicking looking for Uri’s painting and the rest of them trying to avoid the shrapnel…

First of all, a great script with some really great dialogue, hats off to the writer, Guy Ritchie, that guy gets about doesn’t he? A really well made film with some great locations; I particularly liked the scene where ‘One Two’ is being chased along the railway tracks by a Russian heavy (if you’ve seen it, you’ll know the one I mean). Some really good performances from, Gerard Butler as ‘One Two’, Tom Wilkinson as Lenny Cole, Thandie Newton as Stella, Mark Strong as Archy (Lenny’s top guy), Idris Elba as Mumbles, Tom Hardy as Handsome Bob, Karel Roden as Uri Omovich and Toby Kebbell as Johnny Quid (Lenny’s stepson). Honourable mentions go to Jeremy Piven as Roman and Jimi Mistry as the Councillor. I pretty much enjoyed the film, but I just felt that there were one or two loose ends that weren’t tied up by its conclusion. I won’t go into specifics, but there were some gaping holes in the end. There was a hint that there may be a sequel in the end credits, so maybe there my be some resolution in that, or maybe there’s more in the DVD release. Anyhow, at the end of the day, a complicated London gangster thriller with a really good script and some good performances.

My score: 7/10

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