Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Reviews
Another hilariously funny, ganster comedy that is funny and isn't short of its gun fights.
Really worth the watch
There is certainly a Tarantino style going on throughout as the story tends to twist n turn amongst all the dreary looking locations, the whole film seems to have a brownish tint to it, almost an enforced grimy hue to really bring the rough dilapidated streets of London to life. To be honest you don't even need to follow the story you just watch it for the continuous use of cockney slang and hints of vicious violence between various roughians, (a case of less is more with the violence) at the same time all this is accompanied by a glorious soundtrack.
A slick cool visage of thugs and wheeler dealers of varying levels of intelligence all mixed with a dark gallows humour that makes you unsure wether to giggle or shy away. The four main characters are a good balance of your classic 'EastEnders' types with a dollop of 'Only Fools n Horses' comedy on top in a world where the Kray brothers could still be walking the streets and where Vinnie Jones as 'Big Chris' brings another level of atmosphere with his final act.
Bosh! job done Guv'
Long-time friends; Bacon, Soap, Tom and Eddie decide to put together £100,000 to play 3 card brag against "Hatchet" Harry Lonsdale - a porn king of notorious disposition - in a high-stakes card game in the hopes of winning easy money. Aided by Barry "the Baptist", Harry's personal bodyguard and counselor, the game is fixed so that Eddie, the card shark representing the group, loses to Harry and is forced to pay a £500,000 debt within one week, citing the loss of fingers and Eddie's father's bar if he fails to pay. To Eddie's fortune, and the dismay of his friends, all four of the group are tasked with honoring this debt, as they were all responsible for fronting the stake money. Harrys loyal and violent debt collector, Big Chris - who often brings his son and apprentice, Little Chris, to his work - is assigned to collect the payment on the due date.
After several days and no ideas to come up with the money, Eddie returns home and overhears his neighbors, a gang of thieves known for robbing drug dealers, planning a heist on some marijuana growers supposedly loaded with cash and drugs. Eddie relays this information to the group, intending for all of them to rob the neighbors as they come back from their heist, therefore solving the debt. Tom uses his connection with an underground dealer, known as Nick "the Greek", to provide them with guns for the job, and to find someone to help them move the drugs. Nick then manages to acquire a pair of antique shotguns, and arrange a deal with Rory Breaker, a gangster and sociopath, to purchase the stolen weed.
Prior to the card game, a pair of lowlife criminals, Gary and Dean, were hired by Barry to rob a bankrupt millionaire for Harry, who wanted a specific pair of antique shotguns from the stolen pile for his personal collection. The two guns that Harry wanted, however, were the ones that Gary and Dean sold prematurely to Nick after the robbery. An enraged Barry then threatens the two into getting them back.
The neighbors' heist goes underway; Dog, the leader of the gang, learned of the weed chemists from one of the members, and uses his connections to the group to catch them off guard. Despite having a gang member killed by his own Bren Gun, and an incriminating encounter with a traffic warden, the job is otherwise a success. Unfortunately as they come back to the hideout, the four friends ambush the neighbors and take the loot, who later return that night to stash the goods next door, and then celebrate with a wild night of drinking.
The various characters finally collide when Rory discovers that the weed he was going to purchase was in fact his; the weed chemists that were robbed were under his employ. Rory interrogates Nick into revealing where the four friends live, and uses one of the chemists to identify the robbers. That same morning, Dog has become furious at having been cheated and, during a tirade, he launches one of his men into a wall, who discovers (through the hole he makes as a result) various sound recording equipment; Dog realizes that his neighbors were the ones who robbed him, and has the men prepare to ambush the friends in the flat as he takes the antique shotguns and counts the money. Gary and Dean call Nick, who (in frustration) directs them to the same address in their search for the antique shotguns, while Big Chris and his son depart to collect the debt, and the four friends drive home from the bar.
Rory and his gang assault the flat and enter a shootout with the neighbors, resulting in the deaths of all but Dog and the lone chemist to survive the slaughter, with the latter taking off with the marijuana. Dog is mugged by Big Chris of the shotguns and money during his escape, Gary and Dean stealthily follow Big Chris, and the four friends finally return to the flat, shocked by the carnage and the missing loot. Big Chris then gives the guns and cash to Harry, and as he returns to his car he encounters Dog threatening his son, who wants him to get the loot back from Harry. Desperate to get the guns, Gary and Dean attack Harry and Barry at their office, realizing who they were at the last minute before killing each other in another violent shootout. The four friends soon arrive to find another scene of carnage, and take the opportunity to re-steal the debt money, mystified by their strange fortune. Big Chris then crashes into their car to disable Dog, and after brutalizing him with his car door, he takes the debt money back from the unconscious friends, only to find his employer dead, and Tom just about to make off with the antique shotguns, which he'd briefly paused to examine.
The remaining friends were arrested, but were declared innocent after the traffic warden from earlier identified the neighbors bodies as the prime suspects. The four reunite at Eddies fathers bar, and decide to have Tom get rid of the only evidence linking them to all the bloodshed the shotguns. After Tom leaves, Big Chris arrives to bid them farewell, and gives them a catalog on antique guns. Big Chris then leaves, having kept the debt money for himself and his son. A quick perusal of the book reveals that the shotguns the four had bought for the job were each worth a fortune, and so they desperately try to call Tom. The film ends in a cliffhanger when Toms cell phone, stuffed in his mouth, starts ringing as he hangs over the side of a bridge, preparing to drop the shotguns into the River Thames.
Still, lovely puzzling plot with lots of humor and British slang. One thing I really appreciated about this film was the cut away from violence. In modern films it's so rarely done, so when it is I appreciate it. Not that I mind violence. Not at all. But sometimes it can get a little blase.
It was fun and funny and just nail-biting enough if you came to like the four main guys as I did.
This English production was written & directed by Guy Ritchie & has already deservedly reached pretty much classic status, in fact it still resides in the IMDb's top 250 films list over ten years since it was originally released & for me it throughly deserves to be there. It's just a wonderfully entertaining, witty, funny, clever British crime caper with bags of personality & at the time it was made originality although in the ten years since it was released many a British film has ripped it off trying to recreate it's success. There are a few things which make Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels so brilliant. First it's just so funny, I have seen Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels several times now & I laugh my head off every time, the really funny dialogue, the spot on performances, the hilarious one liners, the use of funny cockney rhyming slang & the things which happen along with the often bizarre situations the character's find themselves in means there isn't a scene that goes by where something funny doesn't happen or there isn't some instantly quotable insult or one liner. Secondly the character's are great, they have real depth & the good guy's are very likable so you root for them while the bad guy's are real nasty pieces of work so as a consequence you don't root for them, just the way it should be. Then there's the plot which at the time was fresh, new, original, clever, witty, full of great twists & turns & there's certainly plenty going on which rather improbably all come together at the end in a somewhat far fetched way but when a film is as entertaining, clever & downright funny as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels you just tend to go with it. A brilliantly funny British comedy crime caper, one of my favourite films ever & it's as simple & straight forward as that.
Director Ritchie really injects some style, pace & energy into the film with various tricks which never become gimmicky or intrusive & only help tell a brilliantly story with style, originality & panache. Not only did Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels revolutionise the British crime caper genre with it's story telling but it has also influenced plenty of films since with it's slick editing & visual techniques. There's a fantastic soundtrack too, I really can't think of one bad thing to say about Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels which is pretty high praise in itself as I am not easily pleased. There's a fair amount of violence but nothing overly graphic & a lot of it is played for laughs as is the bad language & profanity of which there is a lot. In fact I don't there is a single scene which doesn't involve the use of strong language at some point.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels had a budget of about £960,000 which is simply amazing, a film this good & this stylish for less than a million? Shot on location in & around London Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels were the film debuts of both ex footballer Vinnie Jones & Jason Statham who have both done very well off the back of it. During the final credits the film is dedicated to ex bare knuckle fighter Lenny McClean who played Barry the Baptist & who died of cancer shortly before the film premiered. The acting is great from all involved, there's boyish charm to downright menacing criminal unpleasantness.
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a brilliantly funny, witty, clever & entertaining British crime caper that is a true genre great & one of my own personal favourite films ever. Ritchie followed Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels up with the equally brilliant British crime caper Snatch (2000) a couple of years later.