Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
- Guy Ritchie
- Reviewed by
- Gon Curiel a.k.a. Groucho
- Review date
- Wednesday, April 14, 2004
Being perfectly objective, I find in Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels an inimitable look at the underworld, focusing on the clumsiness of a bunch of lowlifes and the hilarious and intricate web of consequences when different stories collide. Itís all for the fun, as no violence is too graphic (most of it not even showing onscreen) and everyone has time to make a funny remark. In the end, itís not exactly redeeming and probably doesnít leave a strong mark or impression on the viewer, but the laughs one gets during it are highly appreciated.
The story, as I said, is quite intricate. It all begins with four con-artists (Jason Flemyng as Tom, Dexter Fletcher as Soap, Nick Moran as Eddie, and Jason Statham as Bacon) who take the risk of entering a high-powered Poker game where invincible Eddie trusts heíll beat Hatchet Harry Lonsdale (P.H. Moriarty) as heís beaten everyone in his time. Not counting on Harryís cheating (aided by his Barry the Baptist, played by Lenny McLean, who died before the filmís release, and to whom it was dedicated), the boys find themselves in debt with a deadline to pay it. In order to get the money, they attempt to cheat their crooked neighbors, leaded by tough man Dog (Frank Harper). Those guys in turn get into trouble of their own, and other guys involved get into their own trouble, and the circle eventually closes. Thrown into the mix are a deadpan hit man and his son (Vinnie Jones and Peter McNicholl respectively), and many more sorts of lowlifes and mafiamen with different interests.
The dynamic structure of this film benefits from the non-linear way in which its story is told. Itís not exactly episodic, but instead, the stories flow and all of a sudden they intersect and we donít always see it coming. Itís fun to realize that what youíre seeing explains something you already saw. Another asset of the story is the suspense that builds little by little. Every storyline has a suspense of its own and all together make up for a truly exciting experience. If not every story is exceedingly interesting, thatís a different story.
Sting, who appears as Eddieís dad (a welcome if unsettling appearance, given the nature of the character he plays), introduced Ritchie to his future wife Madonna.
Overall, this is a recommendable film with many virtues to behold.
ďA minute ago this was the safest job in the world. Now itís turning into a bad day in Bosnia.Ē
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