After Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, you know what to expect when you buy a ticket to a Guy Ritchie film (if we politely ignore that whole Swept Away debacle), and he doesn’t disappoint. RocknRolla is a flashy, violent, hard-driving dive into an unexpected seedy side of London: the real estate market and its many denizens trying to get rich quick by any means necessary.
A less talented filmmaker might not have been able to escape the trappings of style and substance, but Ritchie delivers copious amounts of style with fantastic acting, brilliant cinematography and key oeuvre signatures through interweaving storylines that make this unmistakably another chapter in Ritchie’s London underbelly series.
The film stars 300’s Gerard Butler, Jeremy Piven (who is uncharacteristically weak in the film, turning in a performance that’s just his “Entourage” character on Valium), token but enjoyable femme fatale Thandie Newton, the always wonderful Tom Wilkinson, a crush-worthy Tom Hardy and the absolutely genius Mark Strong, an English actor yet to break through in America who has several movies about to be released that should shoot him, deservedly, into the stratosphere. It’s a rockin’ good time. Grade: B+ RocknRolla is currently in theaters.