RocknRolla (R)

Action/Adventure 114 October 31, 2008
By Nick Pinkerton
What do you have to do to get your career revoked in England, short of being Gary Glitter? After a box-office-catastrophic two-movie run, Guy Ritchie takes another mulligan and returns to “form”—though his tics and tricks have never added up to more than cockney-accented novelty mixed with 2 Days in the Valley dross. A new pack of capering yobs (some guy from 300, Ludacris), including a Pete Doherty–esque crackhead savant, run off with one another’s loot, their various storylines cut together and the scenes temporally shuffled with enough sleight-of-editing to keep up a semblance of kineticism. Brick-shithouse-built rough boys are given “unexpected colors” (something that, in productions of this nature, is entirely to be expected), such as a taste for Merchant-Ivory films. Digressive soliloquies casually linger on such ephemera as American crayfish and the semiotics of a pack of cigarettes, belying looming violence. Why should a movie so titled have one of the most indifferent soundtracks in recent memory? Because Ritchie is a pop tart at heart (see: wife), for whom “rock ’n’ roll” has nothing to do with the weight of riffage, and everything to do with dandyish tailoring and pub-belligerent ’tude. Sum total of scenes that deserved to stay in the final cut: Thandie Newton doing a little shimmying frug.
Guy Ritchie Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton, Mark Strong, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Toby Kebbell, Jeremy Piven, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges Guy Ritchie Joel Silver, Susan Downey, Steve Clark-Hall, Guy Ritchie Warner Bros. Pictures/Dark Castle


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