Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels Reviews

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March 25, 2016
Slickly shot with a unique color palette but otherwise a case of style over substance
March 10, 2016
Oh, what an ear Guy Ritchie has. Though not a fan of the walls that confine a comprehensible plot, Ritchie may as well be the Brit Tarantino when it comes to dialogue. Gifted in his ability to craft conversations characterized by a daunting mixture of street guy toughness, blackened humor, and ironic prudence, listening to his characters speak is something like hearing a virtuoso violinist perfervidly perform Johan Sebastian Bach's Chaconne from Partita in D Minor, hardly breaking a sweat. What a joy it is to watch a film where colloquy is everything, where characters are vehicles for bravura dialogue to travel in.
The film, 1999's "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels," was the first for the now cultishly beloved Ritchie, who kept his cheeky stride with 2001's similar "Snatch" but lost it all after marrying Madonna and throwing his career away in 2003 with "Swept Away," a misguided attempt to combine work and play. After "Snatch's" release, he's come close to matching the initial triumphs of his first two releases ("Sherlock Holmes" brought him much needed commercial success, "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." showcasing him as an immensely capable talent-for-hire), but nothing takes the place of "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels," whose vitality and crotchety humor makes it as punchy of a crackpot crime comedy as it was back in '99.
Its hard-to-follow plot, a familiar case of too many characters and too many stories, is its weak link, preventing us from feeling that internal cackle that follows suit after undergoing something like "Jackie Brown," which was similarly complicated but nevertheless straightforward and rewarding to keep up with. There comes a point during "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" in which the hurricane of thick British accents and bafflements of the intersecting stories becomes too much, us having to throw our hands up in surrender to its byzantine ways. But its delightful performances and saucy dialogue never lose their introductory charisma - getting lost in its setup is very much a possibility, but tiring of its personality is certainly not.
The film concerns the misadventures of a pocket of East End thugs, who match in their tendencies to blunder but who vary in their callousness. Most conspicuously featured are Eddy (Nick Moran), Bacon (Jason Statham), Tom (Jason Flemyng), and Soap (Dexter Fletcher), low-lifes who unwisely devise a plan to earn enough money to land Eddy a spot on the poker table of porn producer Hatchet Harry (P.H. Moriarty). So intrigued by the prospect of winning big that they forget that Eddy could, you know, lose, we get the feeling that the twenty somethings are way in over their heads.
And we'd be right - Eddy doesn't end a victor and instead becomes a victim of the payback. By the end of the week, he is expected to give Harry an obnoxious amount of cash; Harry, aware that the young man foolish enough to go against him likely won't be able to put his money where his mouth is, eyes his father's bar for purchase. But Eddy and his pals are virilely forlorn, eventually landing on the idea of stealing from a local gangster's (Steven Mackintosh) marijuana business. Connoisseurs of the heist they aren't, though, and the hot water around them gets even hotter the more they try to get Eddy out of his debt.
A bevy of characters are further introduced, but to list them all off, describing their individual roles in driving the labyrinthine plot, would be tiresome and maybe even worthless; most likely, you won't be able to keep up with "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" any better than me. You will, however, remain enthralled by its exchanges and its characters - I love the way Ritchie is able to make even the most wearisome of a conversational detail pop with knowing panache, and I love the chutzpah of the performers, especially Statham, then a newcomer, Vinnie Jones, a brawny toughie, and Vas Blackwood, who, with delicious camp, plays a crime boss of unusual merit. So while "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" is not the direct escapism most hunt for to spend a couple of hours with, its exhibition is unmissable; had Ritchie continued on the path set by it, then he might have been a living legend. But there are worse ways to be remembered.
March 6, 2016
Best English Gangstar Movie,dont think 'sting' can act though
jamrcla
Super Reviewer
January 29, 2016
Not as good as I thought, I was expecting another film like snatch, But was a little disappointed, But a good ending makes up for most of the films downtime.
November 23, 2015
Fun, stylish crime comedy. True, I will admit it is a bit crowded and the plot is a lot to take in on the first viewing but with repeat viewings it becomes a great watch. Great dialogue, funny twists and turns, and overall a blast of a British crime comedy. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is "Great!"
October 18, 2015
One of the best British film of the 90's! Very quotable dialogue, great humour and one of my favourite endings to a film.
October 8, 2015
Cool, intertwining storyline
September 2, 2015
I am truly surprised at the act of reviewing this movie, because while I was watching it I thought for the entire time that it was very similar to Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs. And what I read when I open the profil page of Guu Ritchie? That many critics said the same thing. Wow! It reminded me that particular Tarantino's movie for the style in filmaking and the tragicomic plot development. Anyway, I find that the end is poorer than a good movie like this would deserve, but this does not compromise the overall quality of the movie too much.
½ August 28, 2015
Once you get used to the language, it's really an awesome movie.
August 23, 2015
I feel like i should have liked it more than I did. Don't get me wrong, it was a solid movie with performances to boot, I just had a hard time tracking with it. Maybe another rewatch will boost my thoughts about it.
½ August 14, 2015
Wow I thought this was great! I loved it! Guy Ritchie shows his awesome skills in this. I loved this kind of British gangster film (mostly all guy films) I wasn't liking this in the beginning but loved it as it went on.
½ August 11, 2015
The plot is too confusing for it's own good and the characters are all a bit too similar, but you cant deny Ritchies energetic, music video like direction and witty banter between the characters makes for solid, brash entertainment.
July 30, 2015
Guy Ritchie really did hit the ground running. His full-length debut is a one-fingered peace sign to conventional filmmaking as well as a riot of ADHD camerawork, so chock-a-block full of deliriously paced sequences that you barely have time to place the popcorn in your mouth. His tale of a four-member crew whose efforts to cheat a local card shark quickly unravel into a bloody orgy of threats, thieving, and violence is merely an exercise in ramshackle camera-effects and the kind of bloody black comedy only England is capable of. Ritchie's sepia-drenched style, use of unusual background music and indecipherable slang give the whole film the feel of an altered state of perception, whether it be Eddy's shaky devastation at running up the debt or the various spells of drunkenness, dope trancing or adrenalin rush that smite all characters. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a Molotov cocktail of a movie, and an excellent comedy meandering along despite the lack of anything resembling a real plot.
Super Reviewer
½ July 30, 2015
Ritchie uses almost every known British character actor/soap star for his gang romp revolving around the simple premise of some guys owing a gang boss a large amount of money. The cast is impressive you gotta admit, of course you gotta be British to probably get the most from it, but the collection of oddballs and gangsters are all so well performed by the cast, it just shoves the seedy, gritty, dirty Del boy London grim in your face perfectly.

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 ruffians (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 whether 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'
July 17, 2015
Very original,very complex,very organized(in a way),and quirky.
This is the film that introduced many to the directing talent of Guy Richie and introduced everybody to Jason Statham.
Isaac
Super Reviewer
½ July 14, 2015
A fittingly stylish debut from Guy Ritchie with a strong ensemble cast and a twisty, sharp-witted script.
June 30, 2015
While it may be lacking in substance, it does have its own ragged sense of style. And even if you don't care about any of the characters you will at least want to see everything fall into place once the course of the movie becomes discernible.
½ June 16, 2015
Basically read my review about "Snatch"
½ June 15, 2015
Absolutely smashing tale
May 31, 2015
I thought that I would really dig the first movie by Guy Ritchie. I heard many good things. But overall, I don't know what to think of it. It's in a grey area between good and bad, and I don't think it was all so watchable. There are brilliant scenes in the movie, especially the beginning, and the very last scene of the film. A few of the action sequences are top-notch, and very exciting. But the characters are cookie cutter, and the plot is generic. The fact that people compare this to Tarantino is not right. He would do more with this material than what is done here. Not saying it's a bad movie, but I'm just not crazy about it. By the way, the movie can be really hard to understand at times due to the use of Cockney, or to make it quite simple, the British version of Jive. I may have missed half the plot trying to decipher what was said from each character. Hmmmm, I hope my critique isn't uncalled for then.
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