Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rocknrolla - 4.5/5

A return to roots. That is what "Rocknrolla" is, and it was just the film I wanted to see from Guy Ritchie. Since the absolutely magnificent "Snatch" the man has been absent from film (not literally, it just that he hasn't done anything that was 'his') and so now that he returns to the field of underground crime in London, it's a nice homecoming. "Rocknrolla" gives it justice too.

Story wise, this is a nice weaving and interlocking piece about crooked accountants, street wise thugs for hire, land mongols, and sneaky fucking Russians. Oh and of course, one rock star named Johnny Quid. The story is a bit less extreme than some of his other films having to do more with land and court manipulation than heists and killing, which gives the film its own flavor that I appreciated. I suggest watching the film a good 2/3 times to sort out the various characters that make their pop ins and to catch what is being said (I must also suggest subtitles with their thick accents). It can seem complicated but honestly once you are able to put it all together it works beautifully. Guy Ritichie has struck gold once again in the writing department.

As for directing, Guy Ritchie's quick cuts, extensive monologues, and overall hyper kinetic style wins the day. It helps when the story is clever and the characters are awesome, but his style never wears thin (although the odd slow motion and blurring sequence with the chase scene between Butler's One Two and the Russian War Criminals took some getting used to).

I have to admit though that this is perhaps the least humorous of his gangster films. Although it has that charming dry and quick wit that is always present in his films most of the humor comes from the rather quirky and awesome dialogue (and some of his just amazing monologues). The humor is there and hopefully you can catch it, but its not always there and this is perhaps is most straightforward film for this series. It still rocks some damn good quotes ("Daddy! Nice wheels!" or my personal favorite "My hat is deep and full of magic. I got rabbits, handkerchiefs, and ladies of the pole drinking Black Label. I got smoke machines, bubble machines, I even got love marines, and still the hat goes deeper. All right? But there AIN'T no mothafuckin' dry ice.").

This is Ritchie's best film since "Snatch" easily and although it doesn't top that glorious film it comes damn close. If you enjoy British humor and clever writing than this is a must have. Otherwise it might some a bit pretentious to you.

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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