Guy Ritchie has returned to his old form with the film RocknRolla. A kinetic, funny, well-cast crime caper, RocknRolla proves Ritchie is still the lord of his manor - if not exactly Shakespeare. When it comes to "black humor", this is definitely a film that belongs to the very top.
Ritchie came to the film scene a decade ago in great style. Lock Stock and two smoking barrels it brought fresh wind to the film industry, while also bringing to the surface the very good Jason Statham. Perhaps the fall of her career was due to her marriage to pop diva Madonna, who starred in Flooded, followed by an over-ambitious, complicated and opaque Revolver that can only boast of Statham’s play.
Now Ritchie is back to his roots - RocknRolla brings a little bunch of miscreants chasing the same money and trying to cheat on each other. The shots change very quickly, some of these are really fun.
Remarkable Tom Wilkinson
The content of Ritchie’s films is very difficult to summarize. This time the story takes place in London, where One Two (Gerard Butler) and Mumbles (Idris Elba) want to make a lot of money by reselling real estate in a fast way. They borrow money from the influential mobster (don't call him a mobster!) Lenny Cole (the remarkable and almost unrecognizable Tom Wilkinson). Of course, he has his own plans, the little thief has a clever trick - he gets the estate himself, and the couple owes him 2 million pounds.
Complications, complications and entanglements
Russian Billionaire Uri Omovich is now entering the game, planning to build his own property in London. He wants to use the connections at Lenny Cole. Since their meeting takes place at the football stadium, I couldn't help but see the real Roman Abramovič in Omovič, to whom the Czech actor Karel Roden is even a bit similar. The complications are just beginning here. The Russian transfers 7 million euros for Cole to carry out the campaign. But Omovic's accountant Stella (Thandie Newton) has her own plans and tells One Twou where she can get the money. I would almost forget: Omovich lends his picture (which we never see) to Cola for good luck, and his estranged stepfather and rock and roll star Johhny Quid (Toby Kebbell) takes it.
What is the real function of the narrator?
Sounds complicated? Not really, as it’s the usual interweaving of stories we’ve seen in Ritchie’s first two films. Rock and roll is not at this level, but it is close. Among the film's major weaknesses is storyteller Archie (Mark Strong), who is Cole's closest aide. It seems that the director intervenes with the narrator only because of the description of the characters and the relationships between them, in a way he imposes on us what we should feel towards an individual hero. This is of course not good, as you should do it with just the picture.
There are also problems with the characters themselves, as he introduces some to the story very late. Thus, we see Johny Quid for the first time only boldly in the second half of the film. Kebbell plays his part very well, so he inadvertently steals a lot of attention and upsets the barely formed balance of the heroes.
You will not forget the hunt
But no big deal. Ritchie still serves up some great scenes. It is worth mentioning the unusual long and original hunt of two former Russian soldiers (now in the service of Omovich) for One Twou and Mumbles, who steal 7 million euros. Innovative scenes include a quick collage of One Twou and Stella sex videos. I especially recommend it to fans of Ritchie’s early works.