Guy Ritchie returns to form with this cockney crime caper starring Gerard Butler and Tom Wilkinson.
Lenny Cole (Wilkinson) is a bungling London crime boss who calls the shots in London's underworld. We learn all about Lenny from Archie (Mark Strong)--his second in command--who serves as the film's sly narrator. When a wealthy Russian property dealer by the name of Uri (Karel Roden) looks to Lenny for help on a major new deal, Lenny is eager to assist (for a very large fee, of course). Uri agrees to pay, and as a show of faith, he insists that Lenny borrow his "lucky painting." Uri then asks his accountant, Stella (Thandie Newton), to transfer the money to Lenny, but things quickly go awry when two crooks known as Mumbles (Idris Elba) and One Two (Butler) intercept the money before it reaches him.
To make matters worse, the lucky painting has mysteriously been stolen, and the number one suspect is a crack-addicted pop star, Johnny Quid, who is presumed dead.
Violent hijinks ensue as Lenny desperately tries to locate the painting, Uri calls in some sadistic thugs to recover his money, and Johnny Quid suddenly resurfaces. Men are battered with golf clubs, fed to crawfish, and attacked with machetes, and a surprise twist ending neatly ties up the whole bloody mess. Fans of Ritchie will likely be very pleased to see him return to his SNATCH-style of filmmaking. ROCKNROLLA has the same frenetic, humorous edge as the film that made him famous, though critics might complain that this particular style is starting to look a little dusty. Regardless, ROCKNROLLA features many fine performances, and once you get past the rather slow beginning, it kicks off into an entertaining and amusing romp.
This is a Total Guy Movie. Don't get me wrong. You've got both Gerard Butler & Idris Elba who are very pretty to look at, but overall, everything is geared for the guys. And the cherry on top is the sexy, haughty Thandie Newton to drive the men crazy, but she's not your typical obvious skank. She's classy. Spoiled. Bitchy. And very, very cold. I wanted to be her. Until she sucked the hollandaise sauce off her finger. Eww.
Being a British film, I wasn't quite as sucked into the action like I was when I watched the Ocean 11 movies, which this one reminded me of, and which has obvious American humor. I admit it, I liked these movies better. But there was humor to be found here, too, mostly notably when One Two (my Gerard) receives some unwanted affection from an unlikely source. Hil-ar-i-ous. Funny.
You've also got one of my favorites in here, Jeremy Piven, but him and Ludacris don't really add much to this movie. In fact I was rather disappointed in how little they were utilized. Ludacris just didn't not fit here. He's done better. There are also like 20 different actors and it's dizzying trying to keep them all straight, especially when I'm not familiar with who any of them are. Another reason I like American films with overused actors.
The movie ends with it evident there is to be a sequel. Whether that's happening or not is anyone's guess. I have no clue and can't really be arsed to check.
Anyway, it's mindless entertainment, kinda fun, a bit campy. I probably would see the next movie, provided Gerard and Idris will be in it. I like them ;)
Have you seen it? Like, no like?