Written by Guy Ritchie
Directed by Guy Ritchie
Starring Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Strong
Big London Gangster contrives to lend money to Small London Crew and then pull the development permit from under their feet to bully them into coming up with a bunch of money. (Spoiler alert!) they pay him off in the first half hour.
BLG's ex stepson steals a painting which was lent by a Big Russian Gangster, to whom BLG is selling political influence. Hijinks ensue.
SLC gets a tip from BRG's accountant and steals the money. That's how they pay off their land deal. Then SLC gets the same tip and does it again. Hijinks ensue.
i wasn't expecting much from this, so....um....i guess i was indifferent with the mediocre plot. i kind of stopped paying attention for the middle 45 minutes or so because the table runner i'm crocheting was more exciting. i'm thinking guy ritchie only knows how to make the same movie, and yet with each remake the quality degrades. like a photocopy of a photocopy of a photocopy. you can't fool me, sir. i've seen this movie before. confusing and convoluted crime story about criminals who owe money. isn't there any other sort of crime you could breakdown and recreate to form a giant hardcore soap opera where everyone is connected to everyone else, and someone is confused about the paternity of their baby? is the crime world that small? or is it that there are cliques in the underbelly? like a highschool? could you make a musical, mr. ritchie? or is that what that one with madonna was? i didn't catch that one. are you secretly the head writer for abcfamily's 'pretty little liars'? hmmmmm.... shoplifting is a crime. tax evasion? speeding? i think a movie about compulsive speeders might be more thrilling of a movie. i haven't seen that one twice before.
seriously, this was exactly the same movie as those other two you've made. please stop.
I remember with great clarity the first time I saw, "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels." I can't tell you the last time I saw it--it must've been more than five years ago--but it really left me with something. This was at the height of a period of Tarantino-influenced cinema, but Ritchie stood out from the herd by taking the new conventions and turning them on their ear. The double- and triple-crosses weren't innovative in themselves, but the way they were presented and the ease with which the characters came to them seemed a natural evolutionary step.
In the intervening years, Tarantino has gone on to opi across diverse genres and expanded his style to each. Say what you will about his product, but it hasn't stagnated. One can't expect many people to parallel such a rise, but I'd like to see some sort of movement or growth from someone who left my mouth watering. When I saw, "Snatch," I saw a shadow of "Lock Stock"; and when I saw this in the house I didn't realize it was Guy Ritchie until I saw his name in the credits.
The "maturity" of this film comes from colossally bad choices. The removal of the explicit violence dims the brightest points in Ritchie's earlier work while the joy of seeing characters as cows spiraling past Helen Hunt on their way down to the eye of a tornado is diluted to, "Oh, that guy. I know that guy." But everything else is exactly Ritchie's deal, from the rough music to the jumpy camera to the seedy locales. The differences are just big enough to have required human interaction with the computer, and that's the most disappointing part of all.