Jake Green: One thing I've learned in the last seven years: in every game and con there's always an opponent, and there's always a victim. The trick is to know when you're the latter, so you can become the former.
Guy Ritchie follows up his disaster of a movie involving his wife Madonna to make another crime thriller, however this time it is not a dark comedy gangster flick mixed with great visual flare. This movie keeps the visual flare, but wraps the crime thriller aspect in a riddle.
This is easily a film that will be frustrating for many and thats because it goes way beyond something one would expect from Ritchie, given his previous to crime flicks involving a fast paced affair about talking cool and hilarity and violence ensuing.
Jason Statham stars as Jake Green. He is a man who has just gotten out of a seven year prison sentence. His being in prison was a result of something done by a corrupt casino owner, Macha played by Ray Liotta. Statham has emerged from prison with plenty of knowledge due to his experience during that time and plans to get revenge on Liotta.
Jake Green: The greatest enemy will hide in the last place you would ever look.
This is only a bare sketch of how tricky this film gets. Plenty of subplots abound involving what Green has learned in prison, Liotta's own problems, and what is going on between Green and two mysterious loan sharks played by Vincent Pastore and Andre Benjamin.
The plot is very convoluted and as mentioned, will go on to frustrate many as time goes by, but I enjoyed it. Somehow it kept me interested despite having times when I wasn't sure how to take parts.
It also helps that Ritchie's visual style is great throughout. Along with the soundtrack, the whole movie looks and sounds wonderful. It is inventive and helpful in keeping one entertained.
Statham works here, playing somewhat against type. I enjoyed Liotta's panicked tough guy. Andre Benjamin is probably the best of all, managing to seem very suave every time he's on screen. Mark Strong (cue IMDB search) is also around as a very cool hitman, which I quite liked.
Overall, Ritchie definitely took a cue from Richard Kelly in terms of warping a premise into confusion, but his style and my basic enjoyment while watching this flick gave me a satisfied feeling at the end.
Jake Green: There is something about yourself that you don't know. Something that you will deny even exists, until it's too late to do anything about it. It's the only reason you get up in the morning. The only reason you suffer the shitty puss, the blood, the sweat and the tears. This is because you want people to know how good, attractive, generous, funny, wild and clever you really are. Fear or revere me, but please, think I'm special. We share an addiction. We're approval junkies. We're all in it for the slap on the back and the gold watch. The hip-hip-hoo-fuckin' rah. Look at the clever boy with the badge, polishing his trophy. Shine on you crazy diamond, because we're just monkeys wrapped in suits, begging for the approval of others.