Guy Movie

By John Murphy

Posted 11/18/08 at 11:52 PM

Who or what is a RocknRolla? Someone born to be in a Guy Ritchie flick, that’s who. An amoral member of the criminal class doing bad things in stylish threads and an expensive pair of shades, spouting tough-lout talk like a Cockney at a Tarantino casting call. Ritchie’s first and best movies were Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, though they were best appreciated as flashy genre exercises, nothing more. Marketed as a ‘return to form’ after the double debacles of Swept Away and Revolver, RocknRolla sees Ritchie maturing as a filmmaker. That is to say, he’s learned how to nail the camera down every couple of shots, but his fixations remain defiantly adolescent: girls, guns, and drugs all used and abused to the tune of a riff-heavy soundtrack. The eclectic UK cast (including national treasure, Tom Wilkinson) bite into their parts with the savage relish of a pack of starved dobermans, but they are biting into rotten meat.