RocknRolla (2008, Director: Guy Ritchie): I’m a fan of Guy Ritchie’s British gangster films and RocknRolla is one entertaining movie. There are the usual double-crosses, multiple story lines, Tarantino-like dialogue and the impressive ensemble cast — Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton, Ludacris, and Jeremy Piven.
The plot is confusing at times but voiceover narration ensures that you can follow along without getting too lost. It doesn’t require repeated viewings like Ritchie’s last film, Revolver (2005).
The soundtrack is scorching, the camera style is familiar and the setting is east London. There isn’t anything new or groundbreaking about this film except maybe the sex scene with Thandie Newton and Gerard Butler. It lasts a few seconds and you’ll find it quite amusing.
RocknRolla is centred around a real estate scam with a Russian billionaire and a British crime boss (Tom Wilkinson). There are several sub-plots involving an expensive painting that goes missing, a rock star who fakes his own death, and a police snitch. I don’t want to give away too much so you’ll have to see it for yourself when it gets released this fall.
Guy Ritchie introduced the afternoon screening that I saw at the Ryerson Theatre but didn’t stick around for a Q&A afterward (the premiere was the night before). I found the movie to be a lot of fun and exactly what I expected. Sometimes you just want to be entertained instead of discovering the next Godard.