The film explains that it is a film--not a depiction of an actual place or particular time--but that we, in the real world, in the audience, are imprisoned within our minds. Jake Green acts as Christ/ Neo/ Buddha, one who ascends to a god-like Christ-consciousness through defeating Mr. Gold. Unlike Neo--who is basically a decent guy--Mr. Green is a conman. But he's good to his brother and niece. Avi & Zack's characters are basically Trinity & Morpheus, hacking their world through masterful cons. But Avi and Jack also speak directly to the audience, telling them that you too can overcome that awful thing you'd prefer doesn't really exist.
If you don't get it, a team of professional shrinks explain it all in the credits, at least in the 2008 American edition, which I recommend.
After making the mistake of directing a romantic drama remake film headlined by Madonna, Revolver clearly serves as an attempt to return Guy Ritchie to his roots. But since it feels like everything has already been done before, the real problem is that it's hard to care about the narrative. Guy Ritchie has a knack for stylish and gritty crime thrillers, but Revolver lacks the innovative punch that came from the energetic and black comedy-fueled subject matter of his earliest works. Part of the problem with the story is that despite putting its focus onto the parallel narratives of two characters instead of the many more that Guy Ritchie tends to work with, Revolver still manages to find away to make itself confusing. The decrease in relevant characters means that the narrative is a very slow-moving one and the lack of humour makes it droll to have to sit through. Instead, Revolver offers a large quantity of arbitrary supporting characters who all make mediocre contributions to the story with relevance small enough that it isn't worth following yet large enough that keeping up with it all is confusing. The story insists on moving very slowly which prevents any exhilaration from joining the mood of the film, leaving it as a numb and un-involving story which is hard to care about, leaving me spending more time looking at the clock waiting for the film to be over.
Since the film has a weak story and a formulaic style about it, the only hope left comes from the screenplay. Unfortunately, Guy Ritchie's tendency to make innovative conversation comes into conflict with Luc Besson's conventions as a heavil generic filmmaker. The story is so firmly rooted in a predictable path that instead of attempting to be innovative through characters it does so through all kinds of plot twists which do nothing but confuse what is a very basic story arc. And since the film is slow, there is no action to distract from it. Yet you would hope that there was some level of creativity in the film as a Guy Ritchie piece. Unfortunately, this is one better left off his resume as any no-name filmmaker could claim to have directed this film and it would have made more sense. The man is an experienced filmmaker, but Revolver serves as an exercize in luddism for him. Revolver ends up being a crime thriller bereft of crime, thrills or the man's iconic touch of rich atmosphere or strong action, and so the only questions viewers are likely to be left asking when attempting to keep up with the convoluted narrative is "What's the point?".
Even the presence of Jason Statham cannot save Revolver. As much as Jason Statham has worked well with Guy Ritchie in the past, he normally is the standout of a large ensemble of talented cast members. In Revolver however, he is stuck with the duty of actively headlining the film without being given a script that he can do anything with. He doesn't have room to make viewers laugh or to get trigger happy, leaving him condemned to play a legitimate dramatic role in a film which cannot do anything with his talents. Jason Statham has to spend most of the film staring blankly at something while delivering an internal monologue, forcing him into a role plagued by restraint instead of intensity. He has little to say, and even his montonous line delivery fails to be a novelty in a film which drags him through miles of slow territory without a foreseeable payoff. Jason Statham's presence is a failed attempt to capitalize on his new level of international recognition as the start of the Transporter films, and despite working with Luc Besson again this time, the material is not up to his standard on any level.
Even Ray Liotta has little to do. Ray Liotta is one of those actors who plays the same kind of character in every film because he does it well, and yet Revolver fails to supply him with material half-decent enough to let his instinctive juices flow. Bereft of a character who is intimidating or original in the slightest, Ray Liotta dwindles in the powerless atmosphere of Revolver like everyone else. It is depressing to watch because the talented actor looks genuinely confused much of the time and constipated at others. Ray Liotta is the kind of cast member who is not difficult to capitalize on, but Revolver manages to mess it up somehow. Ray Liotta fails to make an impression as the antagonist in Revolver, so it is the first time I can honestly say that he is not a genial presence within a crime film.
Andre Benjamin is the only cast member to take a stand in Revolver. In one of his earliest film roles, Andre Benjamin is able to embrace the overly talkative nature of the film. He articulates his words with sophistication and intensity along the lines of Denzel Washington, maintaining a charming edge to the character so consistently without ever stepping out of the part. He approaches the role with a sense of focus on genuinely convincing the other characters that he has some genuine level of power about him, and the fact that he doesn't step out of this state of mind the entire time is a powerful exercize in consistency which is more than I can say about anything else in Revolver. Andre Benjamin's supporting effort in Revolver is the best part of the film.
So despite boasting a talented group of actors and Guy Ritchie director, Revolver ends up being an overly familiar film which still manages to make itself confusing while maintaining a dreadfully slow pace, leaving viewers wondering why they should care enough to follow it.