Guy Ritchie is a man who has established a distinctive brand of English cinema. His fast-paced music video style boasts visual glory while his preferred narrative is an intense and funny blend of crime and comedy. This is exactly the style of filmmaking he returns to in RocknRolla after finding little success with either Swept Away (2002) or Revolver (2005). While RocknRolla is a return to form for the director, it is also a return to formula because the man fails to break much new ground with this film. Having established his talents with the release of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) before taking his stylistic ambitions to the max with Snatch (2000), RocknRolla takes a step back into the exact same territory. RocknRolla carries many of the same faults as his earlier films, but the better aspects of the production fail to stand out all that much since they have all been seen before and so the impact is rather minimal. It's refreshing to see the director doing what he does best and doing it with an all new cast, but it's all been done before and there is little to hide that whatsoever.
RocknRolla borrows heavily from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. It's a caper packed with a few too many characters to keep up with and a pace which moves at a rate too fast for any actual character development to take place. The script doesn't concern itself with this; it just makes an attempt to turn its characters into entertaining archetypes through the use of dialogue. The language is rich due to its high volume of gritty slang and humour, but it never really matters which character is saying it because the convoluted narrative rushes through them all without ever really asserting individual value for any of them. The lasting value of each character on the narrative varies, but since they are all given the same scattered treatment it really doesn't matter in the end because it's little more than a confusing spectacle of acting without any actual narrative purpose for it.
It's almost as if RocknRolla is the conclusion to a trilogy of films composed of this, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. Unfortunately, this time the affair feels tiresome. By the end of the film I have little sense what happened, but this time around it felt like more of a chore to sit through the experience so I really didn't care. I enjoyed the energy in the film and the overall style, but the story was just not one I cared about. Eventually I had to embrace that I had little to care about and tried to find virtue in other aspects of the feature. It wasn't necessarily enough to have me calling this a good film, but it does serve as a reminder of Guy Ritchie's music video style of filmmaking. With the stylish cinematography and enjoyable colour scheme to the film being served through a series of manic quick-cuts against the backdrop of an intense soundtrack, RocknRolla is an energetic if overwhelming experience. And though characters are not a strong point of RocknRolla, the type of character Guy Ritchie is effective at coming up with is always interesting to see played by a variety of actors. With RocknRolla presenting many notorious faces to the style, the most entertaining aspect of the film is arguably the performances.
Tom Wilkinson is the standout of RocknRolla. Amid the manic blend of crime and comedy in the film, Tom Wilkinson is the one actor who takes everything completely serious with maximum intensity. He sinks his teeth into the power obsession of his character and grasps it with a tenacious passion, speaking every word with a swift pace of fearless confidence which allows him to command the more reluctant or confused characters around him. Tom Wilkinson leads RocknRolla with a powerful passion for the material and proves to bring out some sophisticated power in the material that Guy Ritchie presents him with.
Gerard Butler also delivers an intense effort. A widely recognized name in Hollywood, Gerard Butler is an actor who has a talent for really commanding a performance with a gritty edge to him if he is given the right one. While RocknRolla is inconsistent in its purposes for using him, the actor manages to use his natural charm in the calmer scenes while bringing out more tension in the others. He does this all while not having to disguise his native accent which has got to be refreshing for the actor. RocknRolla presents Gerard Butler in his natural form as both a talented actor and a Scotsman, and he captures the edge of the film with instinct.
Tom Hardy is also a brilliant presence. The man is currently one of the biggest stars in the world of cinema, and so seeing him working in his cultural roots within the confines of a Guy Ritchie film is a treat for everyone. Many of his scenes come with a humourous element to them which stand out from the rest of the material, and it makes his presence all the more memorable The same goes for Idris Elba whose rich sophistication comes to him naturally enough in any film lucky enough to benefit from his presence.
Mark Strong's suave line delivery and reputation for delivering intense performances makes him another befitting addition to the cast as well as an effective narrator. And last of all, Jeremy Piven is a grand presence due to his obnoxious persona reflecting the glory of his longrunning performance as Ari Gold on Entourage (2004-2011 without being derivative
RocknRolla serves as a reminder of Guy Ritchie's talent for crafting a gritty crime-comedy in the style of a music video with a dedicated collection of talented cast members, but with little innovation to the story the entire affair feels tired.
Tambien al comparar con los otros dos, te hace notar el cambio de Londres en esos 10 y 15 años. ahora tiene un toque mucho mas 'Skinsesco' el bajo mundo inglés en la mente de Ritchie
Peor todavía es pensar que ya estamos a 10 años de aquel film practicamente, y no ha llegado la anunciada segunda parte. Recomendable verla dos veces.
I have to admit to some trepidation when I went into this one, but I was quite impressed with the levels of plotting, stylistic storytelling and performances on display; Guy Ritchie has truly redeemed himself after losing his way with stuff like Swept Away and Revolver during his married years.
There aint no school like the Old School and in this Old School Im the headmaster?.
Trying to sum this movie up is pretty difficult. There is so much going on from the beginning that itÃ¢(TM)s really hard to summarize. So, with that said here we go. A Russian high level thug wants to build a stadium in London. To do this he needs to use the "connections" of a local power figure. That would be Lenny: Thug-boss. Lenny and Uri (The Russian) make a deal and agree upon 7,000 euroÃ¢(TM)s. Uri contacts his accountant to make the deal go through but doesnÃ¢(TM)t suspect that she wants to do him wrong. ThatÃ¢(TM)s where the Wild Bunch comes in. They steal the money and she makes a profit. At the same time Uri gives Lenny a Ã¢specialÃ¢? painting that holds sentimental and luck purposes until the deal goes through. LennyÃ¢(TM)s Rock N Rolla son steals the painting for himselfÃ¢Â¦ or crack. Things begin to get crazy as the two mob figureÃ¢(TM)s question each otherÃ¢(TM)s trust and worth as well as trying to figure out who is stealing money and who has the painting.
From this point on if you havenÃ¢(TM)t seen the movie I would stop here. Possible spoilers ahead.
I will say that those accents had me thrown off for the first 30 minutes or so. After awhile just like reading subtitles I got used to it. Actually the first 5 minutes were the worst. The story was hard to follow and it was moving way to fast. ItÃ¢(TM)s one of those movies where the closer to the end it gets, the more you understand. In my opinion Lenny was weak. He was supposed to encompass this fear that everyone in London should bow to? Hardly. The scenes with Uri had him acting like a second rate thug. Maybe, that was the direction given but, I thought it to be sad. Mark Strong played his Ã¢Number 2Ã¢? (Archie) and I thought he did fantastic. The accountant was played by (Thandie Newton). I have seen Thandie act before and I wasnÃ¢(TM)t too impressed with her role here. She seemed very dry and hardly Ã¢into itÃ¢?. Again, maybe this was the direction she was given but it left me feeling like she was a dead body walking around smoking a cigarette. She also, was a part of the quickest sex scene I have seen in awhile. This poses the question. How did that even happen? She was never interested in Mr. One Two but yet she stops by his house to hit it and quit it and then takes off. I guess Guy Ritchie was tying up loose ends with the painting. The Wild Bunch consisted of many men but the main players were Mr. One Two (Gerard Butler), Mumbles (Idris Elba), & Handsome Bob (Tom Hardy). It is a joy to see these guys in action. Even though there isnÃ¢(TM)t much development Guy Ritchie had to throw in the Handsome Bob sexuality to help build upon the characterÃ¢(TM)s. It felt a little out of place but it had a purpose. Favorite scene was the 2nd robbery followed by chase by the Ã¢new HeaviesÃ¢?. Those guys were relentless! Gerard Butler gives a average performance where Idris Elba outshineÃ¢(TM)s him in less speaking parts. IÃ¢(TM)ve only seen Tom Hardy previously in The Dark Knight Rises trailers and itÃ¢(TM)s funny to see him so skinny. I wonder if heÃ¢(TM)ll show up in a sequel since heÃ¢(TM)s bulked up so much. Johnny Quid is LennyÃ¢(TM)s unwanted son. He is the true RockNRolla. Also, heÃ¢(TM)s a true crackhead. I didnÃ¢(TM)t care too much for his character until the end of the movie. HeÃ¢(TM)s actually pretty quotable. JohnnyÃ¢(TM)s Music producers are played by Jeremy Piven & Ludacris. Both have very small parts and as a whole they were mediocre. But every time Ludacris spoke it felt like he had just learned his lines five minutes prior to filming them. Very stiff LudaÃ¢(TM).
On the whole, Guy Ritchie put together a well written movie. Although he didnÃ¢(TM)t deviate from the Heist movie formula he still made it his ownÃ¢Â¦ in a way. Hey someone needs to tell these people that once you do a Ã¢jobÃ¢? and it pays out great then you donÃ¢(TM)t need to do it again right away. Let the air settle. I donÃ¢(TM)t think any criminal in their right mind would do a Ã¢jobÃ¢? back to back and not expect something bad to happen. This movie was cookie cutter but Ritchie was able to include many characters and although each didnÃ¢(TM)t have much screen time they all were hashed out as well developed individuals. A balancing act for sure. I was intrigued that the whole movie was based on a mob deal. I say mob just because they Ã¢keep their receipts, this ainÃ¢(TM)t the mafiaÃ¢?.
Comic Book Movie Plus? Mark Strong - Green Lantern, Tom Hardy - The Dark Knight Rises, Gerard Butler - 300, & Idris Elba - Thor & Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
Saw this on 29/6/15
I liked this more than Lock, Stock and Two Smocking Barrels, but not as much as Snatch. Guy Ritchie returns to form with his gangster flicks and the outcome is a witty and entertaining film with fine cinematography, but a few not so good visual effects. Mark Strong and Toby Kebbell gives good performances while others simply play along. Gerard Butler is good, but his role lacks a prominence and is just a bystander. Ritchie's direction is strong and his pulpy gangster war is also great. Hope they make a sequel soon.