Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Review - RocknRolla

When a Russian mobster sets up a real estate scam in London many of England's most notorious gangsters begin to try to get a stake in the millions up for grabs. Anything goes in this tale in which murder, greed and deceit come on a regular basis while an old time mobster see's his crew slipping from his grasp and other various thugs trying to plot against him all because of the money to be had.

Guy Ritchie directs RocknRolla which feels far too similar to his acclaimed films "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch." Ritchie uses much of the same style which was utilized in the previously mentioned films and just comes across undesirable in a film that feels forced at best. The choppy editing and jaded backstory telling are not original anymore and are a nusance from the get go. RocknRolla feels much like a studio just gave Ritchie funding saying make another Snatch, ultimately failing bringing RocknRolla no where near the same flare and edge, but instead just a recycled mantra from his previous films.

The acting in RocknRolla is probably the only saving grace. Tom Wilkinson, Gerard Butler, Mark Strong, Jeremy Piven, Geoff Bell, Idris Elba and Karel Roden all deliver strong performances. All of the performances however are over shadowed by the weak story and leave the viewer having little to no interest in what happens by the end of the 114 minute film. Tom Wilkinson was very good as the old-time mobster who see's his crew playing both sides of the fence, but it is nothing new. Butler is good as always, but his character is so predictable by the middle of the film, I had no interest in where it was going. Everything in this film feels like, been there done that, again leaving the strong performances to wither away and ultimately go unnoticed.

This film was very hard to get through leaving me extremely bored and counting the minutes to the anti-climatic ending (and I do mean snoozeville). I felt Ritchie just went to the well on this one and crapped out a much weaker version of his earlier films. RocknRolla tries very hard to have edge and wit of his earlier films, but unfortunately its no where to be found.