After so many similar films it might be quicker for me to cut and paste the Lock Stock and two Smoking Barrels review here with a note that says ‘replace existing quirky names with new similar, yet different quirky names’.
After all the plots are much the same.
Here a botched real estate deal leaves One, Two and Mumbles owing Lenny a large amount, with only limited time to cough up lest they find themselves in trouble.
Sounds like a children’s book doesn’t it?
Well in the classic vernacular of Guy Ritchie films it ain’t innit.
One, Two (Gerard Butler), who may or may not spell his name with a comma, turns to Stella (Thandie Newton) – who happens to be Lenny’s (Tom Wilkinson) accountant – for some lucrative work on the side, in the process managing to bring the Russian Mafia (and his painting) and a supposedly dead rocker and his management into the mix.
And from there it’s ring a ring a rosy with snappy cockney dialogue, and Robert’s your Father’s brother.
Rock’N’Rolla suffers most by being a copy of a copy of a copy of an original. It’s a lot better than the decidedly wan Revolver, but a step below both Lock, Stock and Snatch (which if it weren’t two separate film might be a good porn title).
The characters as always are colourful, the ‘dead’ rocker Johnny standing out with his best Russell Brand impression, Tom Hardy gaining laughs as Handsome Bob and Mark Strong being a commanding presence with a smooth narrator’s voice as Lenny’s 2IC Archie, but I can’t feel like this has been done before.
Still, if you haven’t seen any Guy Ritchie films you can play them in this order to watch the quality of his films increase; Revolver, RocknRolla, Snatch and Lock Stock, instead of practically the other way around.
Final Rating – 7 / 10. There’s a lot here to like, it’s just that you’ve already liked it before, when it was even better.