RocknRolla - DVD Review

'if there is change here, it’s in Ritchie’s recognition that the old London, the London of Lock, Stock, is fast disappearing'

Many people would describe RocknRolla as Guy Ritchie’s comeback after the critically panned Revolver flopped at the box office. Of course, because it was critically panned I’m not one of the people that’s going to write that because I contributed to its failure at the box office and so am not really in a position to comment. Sorry Guy.

So, looking at the film instead as a follow-on to Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, it is indeed a comeback of sorts which sees Ritchie returning to what we all know him for; London Tawn, Gangsters, dodgy deals and lairy lads.

And that is, again, what this film has got in abundance. Not that Ritchie should be apologising for this. In a way he’s one of the few directors that can get away without really telling a story. He simply creates interesting characters (our protagonists One Two and Mumbles (a very watchable Gerard Butler and Idris Elba) are supported by a perfectly cast assortment of villains and hoodlums) and lets them wreak havoc over 90 minutes or so.

If there is change here, it’s in Ritchie’s recognition that the old London, the London of Lock, Stock, is fast disappearing, consumed into a cosmopolitan mess where the old style Lord of the Manor doesn’t really have a logical place.

And that in itself is a relatively small change, which is always the criticism Ritchie is going to leave himself open to unless he directs Disney’s next million dollar grossing animation. By ‘going back’ to genre, Ritchie has created an eminently watchable, even engrossing, romp through the various layers of modern London society. What he hasn’t don’t is reinvent the wheel and this is ostensibly Lock, Stock Mark 3. And once again, he’s probably just got away with it because his characters are so good and the moments of humour linger with you long after the final credits. However, with the promise of a sequel, it doesn’t seem like we’ll have to wait long to find out whether his tried and tested formula is about to tire us all out like a Russian gangster running straight down a London railroad.

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