Title: “RocknRolla”
Year: 2008
Run Time: 114 mins
Genre: Action, Drama
Cast: Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton, Mark Strong, Idris Elba, Toby Kebbell
Director: Guy Ritchie

Plot: Lenny Cole (Tom Wilkinson) is a London crime kingpin with connections in every position needed to conduct real estate transactions. When a wealthy Russian billionaire Uri Omovich (Karel Roden) comes to town, he turns to Lenny to facilitate the necessary approval he needs to construct a sports arena. He asks Lenny to hold on to his ‘lucky painting’ during the duration of their business. Uri needs his accountant Stella (Thandie Newton) to move the money needed to pay off Lenny. Stella on the hand turns to One Two (Gerard Butler) and Mumbles (Idris Elba), two ex cons who coincidentally owe Lenny money after he ripped them off, to hold up Uri’s men while they’re transporting the money. Lenny meanwhile is robbed of Uri’s ‘lucky painting’ and has Archy (Mark Strong), his right hand man and the story’s narrator, track it down.

“Now in the world of crime, there’s always coincidence.”- Archy

Now this is Guy Ritchie trying to reinvent an idea that worked very well for him, but with a deeper, darker approach. He tries to bring in depth and some diverse characters but ultimately misses to bring back the flair of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels or Snatch. There’s less humor and he chooses to go into deeper character explorations but still doesn’t score. From the trailer and the opening sequence, you get a lot of bark but the movie has no bite. The movie ends with the promise of a sequel and I hope he can bring the humour, the stand-offs, Vinnie Jones, anything really that will make me want to watch it. Although it has some moments, this movie didn’t meet my expectations and will probably disappoint anyone else who watches it.

What works:
Guy Ritchie is still a master of cinematography and he delivers some pretty good stuff. (He does a very creative sex scene)
Tom Wilkinson is truly outstanding. He instantly makes you resent his character so appropriately.
Tom Kebbell is also well cast as the eccentric Johnny Quid, a junkie rocker and Lenny’s stepson.

What doesn’t work:
Jeremy Piven & Ludacris. They just didn’t seem necessary to plot. They brought no balance, no nothing.
It tries to be more diverse character-wise by bringing in a Russian billionaire and his muscle, crafty accountants, American producers and a junkie rocker and all this flops by having no balance. Not even the plot connections make sense.
It feels very like a lets-throw-it-all-together-and-see-what-we-get movie.

Who will enjoy this movie:
Hmm. A die hard Guy Ritchie fan, but don’t count on it.

Must see? No. Must Have? No.

My Score: 6.7 out of 10

“Oh B***ocks! There’s no school like the old school and I’m the f***ing ‘eadmaster”- Lenny Cole