London has a lot of people, a couple of million. Guy Ritchie has taken probably twenty people for his next slick movie: RocknRolla. And we all know how he deals with a large crowd: he makes one group win, the other die, another go back to normal and some others change their lifestyles. And here, style equals RocknRolla.
RocknRolla is about three intertwined threads: The Wild Bunch, consisting of One-Two, Mumbles etc (Gerard Butler leads this group). The second is the head of London’s underworld, Lenny Cole (a bald Tom Wilkinson) and his right hand man, Archie, who narrates the tale, who are finalizing a deal with the Russian boss, Uri. The Wild Bunch collide with this tale head on. The third thread is that of Johnny Quid, whom the world thinks is dead, but has Lenny’s valuable painting and is doing a RocknRolla. Nice title. Stella (Thandie Newton) is the link between the first two stories while Johnny Quid links his own story to Lenny Cole. But with all these full circle twists, the screenplay doesn’t match up to Snatch and Lock, Stock. But from the very first frame, it is style and slickness. Confusing plot.
The movie is fast-paced, with no holds barred. There’s not a single scene that is not crucial to the story: everything is connected. Archie’s narration is good dialog, and there’s good humor in parts with Gerard Butler being funnyman. The performances complement the story, especially Tom Wilkinson. Editing is superb, as usual, and music and sound is all rock and roll. Ritchie employs a visual gimmick in the action sequences to accentualize jerks like in the action sequence where the thin war criminal chases One-Two through a tunnel. That’s just plain weird, not surreal. The climax was a surprise, it threw me completely off track, but it’s not a good as his other two movies.
Guy Ritchie is back in form with RocknRolla, and everything provides entertainment here. Movies like RocknRolla have everything, but not at a great level. It rocks, but falls short in characterization. When you handle too many characters, your emotional attachment to a single character is not as much as it would be with lesser characters. It also doesn’t work when something is at stake, so that connection is also broken. Its like a bunch of stoned people having a good time in the span of a week. It’s still entertainment.
RocknRolla, oh just sounds cool. Rated R.