There’s a word for writer/director Guy Ritchie’s new film RocknRolla. Actually a few words come to mind. Most of them are derogatory so I’ll choose one that’s appropriate and won’t have to be edited. Disappointing!
The plot of this film centers around shady real estate deals, a prized but never actually seen painting, and some smash and grab monetary high jinks, all set up by a savvy accountant. True to this particular genre there’s the usual cast of characters. Including, but not limited too an Old school underworld boss, bumbling squad of street smart wise guys, and a new high roller who wants to take over the town; this time in the form of a ex Russian mafia turned businessman .With an easy to follow story and extraordinary cast of talented actors such as (Tom Wilkinson), (Thandie Newton), (Gerard Butler) and (Toby Kebbel), RocknRolla has everything it needs to succeed.
Make that everything but the essential ingredient that allows a film like this to work, some decent action scenes. This is without a doubt the most anti climatic snore-fest of a gritty crime drama I’ve seen in a while, and when the main action of the film finally does goes down, it’s half hearted-ily mild at best. The shots all look nice and are well edited for maximum effect but there’s no real excitement, nothing to get your blood pumping as is advertised in the trailer and cleverly drawn posters. Not to mention the mysterious absence of a rock thumping soundtrack, as the movie’s title suggests.
Ritchie, who was once held in high regard and made a name for himself with such cult classics as Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, and Snatch, looses his way on this one. Although were introduced to some slick new camera angles and clever zip shots, as an audience we’re asked to bite into a sandwich of all to familiar story lines and characters that we’ve been served before; and when last prepared was done so in a much more appetizing way.
The film neatly ends with the promise of certain characters returning for what can only be a non existent sequel. I can only hope this is a poor attempt at humor and that the movie going public will get a much needed break from this tired formula of cockney wankers and stylized violence.