Newest Review: ... worth watching if you like fast paced films which are very, very British. Our copy of the DVD cost us £6.99 a few years ago, but this is a... more
I don't ****** believe this! Can everyone stop gettin' shot?
Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (DVD)
Member Name: paulie1975
Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels (DVD)
Advantages: Sharp, original, good cast having fun
Disadvantages: Very, very choice language and violence
This is one of those films that you either love or hate, I loved it on first release and still think it stands up to the test of time today. It has the kind of lovable cockney rogues who seem to have disappeared from the City nowadays, although watching the stuff this lot get up to, that may not altogether be such a bad thing.
Some people might feel the cockney feel to the whole thing is a bit false and has been written by some middle class scamp who spent a summer living on the rough side of town, but its really up for you to decide.
This is a funny, speedy take on the old London caper movie, it is well thought out, sharp, visually interesting with a script which at times offers every cliché in the book, but also has enough going for it to keep you interested at all times.
Eddie (Nick Moran) is quite tasty with a pack of cards, at least his mates Bacon (Jason Statham), Tom (Jason Flemyng) and Soap (Dexter Fletcher) think he is, so they take out a loan from 'Hatchet' Harry a pretty tasty local villain, who rigs the match and then demands back the half a million pounds (With interest) or his chief debt collector, Big Chris (Vinnie Jones) will hunt them down and off them. In the meantime Big Chris is on the search for them to break a couple of legs just to ensure the message is loud and clear.
Chuck into the mix some nice but underachieving ganja growing toffs, a crazy man with an afro, some drug dealers who really mean business and two very dim bank robbers and the stage is set for lots of high chases, double crosses and carnage with not everybody being left in one piece by the end of it.
Written and directed by Guy Ritchie, this was his first film and was an immediate hit, audiences were wowed by the slick camera work, the cast of unknowns and old school London faces and the witty and sharp script. It is funny and offers more of the 'Long Good Friday' view of London than About a Boy or Notting Hill.
The film does feel in parts like a homage to old films, but it also feels very original, now it feels like a film of its era, but that's a good thing not a bad one. In some respects I think Ritchie has struggled to match this film but he clearly has the talent to do so in the future.
The film is interesting from its landscapes, the sharpness of the chat and the interesting array of characters within this seedy world of deals and double deals, it does feel more like the London we see on a daily basis from the cinematography, although I imagine since this was shot some of the rougher areas are now filled with gastropubs.
In terms of the actors, Nick Moran is the lead and narrator, he is strong, but never really followed on from this, Jason Statham shines and you can see he is personable enough to go further, while Fleming and Fletcher are old hands and have continued to get plenty of acting gigs after this.
Many people raved about Vinny Jones as 'Big Chris' but he is just playing himself, he's perfectly cast here, but I do feel he has subsequently been found out a bit playing the same character through films as varied as the appalling Year One and the X-men film which not many people watched. Former bare knuckle boxer Lenny Mclean is very intimidating as a very intimidating enforcer while Vas Blackwood also shines as a silly bank robber, his comedic timing is excellent.
The banter between the four leads is sharp and enjoyable, while the script on the whole hits the spot and mixes tension, humour and the right amount of action. This is backed by an excellent soundtrack ranging from Ocean Colour Scene and The Stone Roses, through the Stooges, James Brown and Dusty Springfield, it fits the film perfectly and plays a great part in setting the mood and the pace of the film.
The cinematography is sharp too with good use of stop motion, slow motion and speeded up film, before these were really used so much in film. I enjoyed this film on every level and watching it again my view hasn't changed at all, it's a cracking film which looked as much fun to make as it is to watch.
The language and violence are choice and this definitely isn't a film to watch with the kids, but it is well worth watching if you like fast paced films which are very, very British.
Our copy of the DVD cost us £6.99 a few years ago, but this is available on Marketplace or ebay for a penny plus postage, which is great value.
Summary: I don't ****** believe this! Can everyone stop gettin' shot?