Reviewing one movie at a time…

Rock N Rolla (2008)


Rock N' Rolla

Rock N Rolla (2008)

Running Time:  1 hr 54 mins – Action, Crime, Thriller

Starring Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, & Idris Elba – Directed by Guy Ritchie

Ran-Dizzle (Host)

“Beauty is a cruel mistress, is it not? .”- Uri

London is the new real estate scandal everyone wants a piece even the Russians, but in order to get into the real estate you have to talk to a “backer” which would be one Lenny Cole, Uri (Russian) is wanting to build a stadium in London after arranging a deal with Lenny, Uri’s Accountant who is a dirty little accountant, She double crosses Uri and sends in her own team of people”The Wild Bunch”  to get the Uri’s money, All the while to make the financial part go well as a token Uri loans a “Lucky” painting to Lenny, who discovers shortly after receiving it that it is missing, While everyone is trying to find the painting and who’s stealing the money.

What I love about this movie is really Guy Ritchie’s talent in this movie much like “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels” or “Snatch” he intertwines so many lives and stories and makes it work, The begging does take awhile to “Jog on” to the point, to me this is probably his #2 best movie, Gerard Butler(One-Two),Tom Hardy(Bob), Idris Elba(Mumbles) made “The Wild Bunch” without a doubt I could not see anyone else play these characters after seeing this movie and trying to think would I change any of these characters I don’t think you could,to me no one really out did the other.

To me this movie is in my Top 50 movies of all time and a must see. Despite what Willie Good-Cook says.

4 ‘s

Willie Good-Cook

Gerard Butler NO!!!–

This movie reminded me a lot of a British version of Smoking Aces. They even chase after the main villains’ son and then the main villain turns out to be a snitch and then said snitch is dealt with. The amount of voice over in the beginning also got on my nerves a bit. To me the director should limit the voice over and show us, the audience, how these people are the way they are and let us make our assumptions. Don’t spoon feed it too us.

I found the first hour of the movie to move very slowly and it was a little hard to maintain interest. There is an immense amount of back story and voice over which drone on for literally an hour. There is some nice comedy sprinkled in and the all star cast made this movie a little easier to watch.

I cannot say enough about the cast for this. They did a phenomenal job. The plot however was a bit flat for quite a while. It picks up about an hour in and keeps you riveted until the end. Overall all a good movie, but the first part almost had me shutting it off and just saying it was bad. I am glad I watched the rest of it however.

And yes. I am going to mention the Gerard Butler gay freak out. It made me laugh so hard I knocked the cat off the couch. And then the conversation when Mumbles (Idris) tells him he did what he needed to as a friend was also very entertaining. This movie is one of those movies you will probably have to watch two or more times to fully appreciate. (And yes, I will be watching it again.)

Suggestion: Skip to the 1 hour mark and watch it to the end, then restart it at the beginning for the back story. (It helps, trust me.)

2.5‘s (Sorry Ran-dizzle)

Big JD

“There ain’t no school like the Old School and in this Old School I’m the headmaster”.

Trying to sum this movie up is pretty difficult.  There is so much going on from the beginning that it’s really hard to summarize.  So, with that said here we go.  A Russian high level thug wants to build a stadium in London.  To do this he needs to use the “connections” of a local power figure.  That would be Lenny: Thug-boss.  Lenny and Uri (The Russian) make a deal and agree upon 7,000 euro’s.  Uri contacts his accountant to make the deal go through but doesn’t suspect that she wants to do him wrong.  That’s where the Wild Bunch comes in.  They steal the money and she makes a profit.  At the same time Uri gives Lenny a “special” painting that holds sentimental and luck purposes until the deal goes through.  Lenny’s Rock N Rolla son steals the painting for himself… or crack.  Things begin to get crazy as the two mob figure’s question each other’s trust and worth as well as trying to figure out who is stealing money and who has the painting.

From this point on if you haven’t seen the movie I would stop here.  Possible spoilers ahead.

I will say that those accents had me thrown off for the first 30 minutes or so.  After awhile just like reading subtitles I got used to it.  Actually the first 5 minutes were the worst.  The story was hard to follow and it was moving way to fast.  It’s one of those movies where the closer to the end it gets, the more you understand.   In my opinion Lenny was weak.  He was supposed to encompass this fear that everyone in London should bow to?  Hardly.  The scenes with Uri had him acting like a second rate thug.  Maybe, that was the direction given but, I thought it to be sad.  Mark Strong played his “Number 2” (Archie) and I thought he did fantastic.  The accountant was played by (Thandie Newton).  I have seen Thandie act before and I wasn’t too impressed with her role here.  She seemed very dry and hardly “into it”.  Again, maybe this was the direction she was given but it left me feeling like she was a dead body walking around smoking a cigarette.  She also, was a part of the quickest sex scene I have seen in awhile.  This poses the question.  How did that even happen?  She was never interested in Mr. One Two but yet she stops by his house to hit it and quit it and then takes off.  I guess Guy Ritchie was tying up loose ends with the painting.  The Wild Bunch consisted of many men but the main players were Mr. One Two (Gerard Butler), Mumbles (Idris Elba), & Handsome Bob (Tom Hardy).  It is a joy to see these guys in action.  Even though there isn’t much development Guy Ritchie had to throw in the Handsome Bob sexuality to help build upon the character’s.  It felt a little out of place but it had a purpose.  Favorite scene was the 2nd robbery followed by chase by the “new Heavies”.  Those guys were relentless!  Gerard Butler gives a average performance where Idris Elba outshine’s him in less speaking parts.  I’ve only seen Tom Hardy previously in The Dark Knight Rises trailers and it’s funny to see him so skinny.  I wonder if he’ll show up in a sequel since he’s bulked up so much.  Johnny Quid is Lenny’s unwanted son.  He is the true RockNRolla.  Also, he’s a true crackhead.  I didn’t care too much for his character until the end of the movie. He’s actually pretty quotable.   Johnny’s Music producers are played by Jeremy Piven & Ludacris.  Both have very small parts and as a whole they were mediocre.  But every time Ludacris spoke it felt like he had just learned his lines five minutes prior to filming them.  Very stiff Luda’.

On the whole, Guy Ritchie put together a well written movie.  Although he didn’t deviate from the Heist movie formula he still made it his own… in a way.  Hey someone needs to tell these people that once you do a “job” and it pays out great then you don’t need to do it again right away.  Let the air settle.  I don’t think any criminal in their right mind would do a “job” back to back and not expect something bad to happen.  This movie was cookie cutter but Ritchie was able to include many characters and although each didn’t have much screen time they all were hashed out as well developed individuals.  A balancing act for sure.  I was intrigued that the whole movie was based on a mob deal.  I say mob just because they “keep their receipts, this ain’t the mafia”.

Comic Book Movie Plus?  Mark Strong – Green Lantern, Tom Hardy – The Dark Knight Rises, Gerard Butler – 300, & Idris Elba – Thor & Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
 

3.5‘s

For Those that have seen this movie.  What did you think?

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