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RocknRolla

Year: 2008
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Guy Ritchie
Producer: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton, Gemma Arterton, Jeremy Piven, Chris Bridges, Jimi Mistry
I didn't see Revolver, but it was apparently the worst offering from Guy Ritchie's comic crime thriller genre.

It would have to be bad to be worse that RocknRolla. Not that it was a bad movie, but it didn't have anything near the iconic 'memorability' of Lock Stock or Snatch.

Ritchie seemed to want to make every character a smart-alecky funny man. The result is that you never know who you're supposed to be the most concerned for, who the main characters and the supports are, and every character tends to blend into the larger background.

It's not really the story of One Two (Butler) and his crew. It's not really the story of rock star Johnny Quid. It's not really the story of Lenny (Wilkinson) or his dealings with the suave Russian mafia in London's biggest real estate scam.

Ironically Snatch wasn't really the story of Bullet Tooth Tony, or Brick Top's nefarious business interests, or Mickey and his itinerant family, or Tommy and Turkish trying to navigate London's underworld with their knees intact, but Ritchie managed to give every character such a unique profile it all worked.

RocknRolla is the same, but for some reason it just doesn't work as well. It's a similar convoluted storyline, where London crimeboss Lenny and his loyal offsider Archie are setting up a big deal with a smooth Russian oligarch. The Russian's accountant Stella (Newton) is the one responsible for moving the millions in bribes and cash to make it happen, but she enjoys a sideline robbing her own employer for the spoils, and she engages a local gang of hoods led by One Two to pull the job.

But when the Russian's lucky charm - a rare and valuable painting - turns up in the hands of a drugged out rock star who turns out to be Lenny's stepson, it comes into One Two's possession and the race is on to make big money and stay ahead of a pair of indestructible ex-KGB psychopaths and various other low lives.

There are funny lines and it bears Ritchie's unmistakable stamp, but something's been lost in translation to the screen. Maybe I was just waiting for Butler to rip his shirt off and shout 'Tonight... we dine... in hell!'

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