Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
Director: Guy Ritchie – Genre: Crime, Thriller
Synopsis: Four guys trying to make a living in the UK all chip in for their card playing friend to go into a high stakes game of cards, Unfortunately the odds are stacked against him and ends up having to owe money to one of the biggest Gangsters in the UK (Hatchet Harry the Porn King) When Eddy Loses him and his buddies have to try and figure a way to get 500,000 pounds to Hatchet Harry by the end of next week.
This is one of my favorite Guy Ritchie Films, In fact this was his first film, and did ever so well on such a small budget. What I love about most of Guy Ritchie movies is his ability to intertwine stories. To me that keeps me engaged, I say this because like in this movie, you see what the others are doing while that scene is going on so you see all the sides…someone once told me it’s like Gypsy Story Telling so I’ve kept that in mind when I see this style of movie.
The writing for this was done rather well, This shows how versatile Guy Ritchie is at the beginning, Writer, Director. Which leads me into his style of Directing, as this was his first Full length movie made he did kind of have a special feel to the movie, random angles, even certain scenes had a 70’s film styling to it, which to me is very similar to Quentin Tarantino’s style, however Tarantino is very much more talented on his special effects and writing. I also believe this won a award for Best New Film Maker 1999 for MTV Movie Awards.
As for the Acting, I think the only one who really stood out to me was Vinnie Jones, I mean he only had a few lines but he kept his cool, and played the hard *** who can be your friend too, unless you threaten him and then he’ll kick your *** with a car door. The rest didn’t do horrible per say but really nothing stood out. It was interesting to see Sting in the movie as JD but I guess when your friends with the director you can get into movies like that.
(Kevin Smith is notorious for having his friends in his movies as well but I mean who knows you better or know what your expecting then your friends right?)
Special effects for the budget was ok, Sound track was ok nothing
really extraordinary other then James Brown was in it, but to me that didn’t really fit but I could be wrong on that.
Overall not the best of his movies, but one of my personal favorites.
Probably one of the first movies of this type. It feels a lot like a british version of Ocean’s Eleven or Smoking Aces or mostly like Boondock Saints 1 or 2. It feels this way mainly because the first half of the movie is introducing characters and setting up the story. The second half is all about taking those characters and interweaving them into each other’s lives. So, in a way you know that each one of the characters introduced will play some sort of part to help the main characters in the end.
Ok, I still don’t get what Lock, Stock means. I can understand the 2 smoking barrels but they even referenced so an so was Lock, Stock but that still didn’t help me. British Slang. I just don’t get it. Bugga! As for the Casting/Acting in this film. It feels like just any schmo could have been cast in any of the roles. Vinnie Jones did well but he didn’t necessarily define his part. He was the only individual that I thought did a fair job in the acting department. The main character Eddy (Nick Moran) did ok but nothing that stood out. Everyone else came in, read their lines and finished the day. Normally I would stick in a couple jabs about Jason Statham. Honestly I can’t. His part was so minimal that he didn’t annoy me. Good for him. I think the worst was the thug Plank (Steve Sweeney). I swear there was a couple times where he said his line directly after another actor and held his head down and continued with the scene until it was his turn to “speak” again. I felt I was watching a high school production at times. Speaking of low production… the film feels very very low in production. Like Youtube low at times. I can understand that this is very critical to the feel of this film so, I can let that slide. Plus, it feels like Guy Ritchie is experimenting a lot in this movie due to the multiple camera angles and unorthodox scene setups. You can definitely tell this was his first feature length film. As time passes those crazy shots will go by the wayside as he focuses more on capturing the characters IN the scene and lets them be the focal point instead of the scene that will distract take away from the actors. But as a first film Guy did fine.
It was a well written movie with good editing. I’ve said this before in these types of movies but, if you can make everything interweave into each other such as this then you’ve done a good job. It would be a pain to write. The soundtrack was probably the leading character in this film. Any movie you got 2 James Brown songs in you can’t lose. Even if you do a generic Crime film that everyone and their dog has done.
As for the end, I won’t give it away but I will say that I didn’t feel satisfied. A side character (Vinnie Jones) gets the “golden star” of the movie opposed to the leading actor or supporting. Which is a twist that I could have done without. I’ll let you know now, I’m not a fan of all British cast movies. But for this one to get 2 stars is quite good. I thought for sure I was going to give it a half star rating.
Comic Book Movie Plus: Vinnie Jones: X-Men: The Last Stand
Nudity Bonus: Random Stripper (non-credited): Out of focus T (16:40) In Focus T (17:40)