With 90% of the movies that come out these days being either adaptations or remakes, it’s nice to see an original idea once every few years. It’s even better when that idea comes from Guy Ritchie, who’s managed to show us over the years just how funny, not to mention awesome, the British underworld can be.
When a Russian mobster sets up a shady real-estate deal, criminals all over the city come out of the woodwork to get their cut. Whether it’s street-savvy One Two (Butler), London baddy Lenny Cole (Wilkinson), or recently deceased rocker Johnny Quid (Kebbell), everyone wants a piece of the pie.
Rocknrolla is dark, gritty and hilarious. Like most Ritchie films, it features a large cast of characters who, although they don’t know it yet, are all connected in some way. Fans of Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch know that nobody does this like Ritchie, and he’s really in full form here. This time, he’s brought in some big names, yet no one character overpowers another. After performances in Batman Begins, Michael Clayton and John Adams, Wilkinson once again proves there’s nothing he can’t do. Gerard Butler is cool, sexy, and makes us all forgive him P.S., I Love You. Ludacris and the always funny Jeremy Piven make nice additions to a well-rounded cast.
Like I said before, Rocknrolla features a lot of players, which translates into a lot to keep track of. For some people (we call them idiots), that can be a bit much, but God bless ’em for trying. For those who enjoy some plot with their car chases and gun fights, the large cast really helps to keep the story moving. Movies like these really hold up to repeat viewings, just because you catch things you may have missed before.
Ritchie has already announced that if this first one is well-received, he intends on making a Rocknrolla trilogy, with The Real Rocknrolla and Rocknroll Suicide coming out sometime in the next 20-30 years. I give this one an A -. It’s probably already met its end in theaters, but make sure to grab the DVD once it streets.