Sunday, 27 February 2011

Rock N Rolla

From the director who brought us Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and Snatch comes a story of property development in London! No really. Tom Wilkinson is Lenny, a gangster-type who plays off punters, councillors, developers and any one else who gets in his way, so he can make lots of money. However, when Russian Billionaire Uri Omovich (Karel Roden) moves into town and wants Lenny to smooth over all his property deals at a cost of 7 million Euro, everything starts going wrong. Especially after Uri lends Lenny his lucky painting (which is then stolen by Lenny's junkie son: washed-up RocknRolla Johnny Quid), and throw into the mix Uri's crooked accountant Stella (Thandie Newton) who is leaking information to crooks One-Two (Gerard Butler) and Mumbles (Idris Elba) about the 7 million Euro that is being moved around.

The film is very much in the style of Snatch and Lock, Stock; there is the usual catalogue-of-errors-heists, Cockneys swearing inventively, and funky music; but it falls fairly short of either of the other two. I'm not sure whether it is because we have seen this all before, or because the plot perhaps was not as zany as previous films, but I felt there was something missing. Don't get me wrong, it was an enjoyable film, and it's not like it dragged on, more that we were spoiled by Ritchie's previous films. It's more things like the dialogue not being as snappy, and the music, that was such a large part in Lock, Stock and Snatch was barely noticeable here. Even the swearing wasn't that inventive!

The cast don't disappoint. Gerard Butler is very cool as One-Two, rarely breaking sweat (except when being chased by a seemingly indestructible Russian heavy); Tom Hardy is great as Handsome Bob; and Mark Strong as Archie (Lenny's main heavy, providing the main narration of the film) is also very cool and calm. Even Super Hans Matt King as Cookie is good.

Overall an enjoyable film, but not in the same league as other Guy Ritchie heist films.