RocknRolla (2008) – Film Review
Director: Guy Ritchie
Cast: Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton, Chris Bridges
by Matt Callard
In Guy Ritchie’s head, the risible RocknRolla is the ﬁlm equivalent of a James Ellroy or Carl Hiaasen novel. Sharp, witty, plot on a knife-edge, full of great lines and characters, morally ambivalent.
It’s not. It’s in tangles, derivative and artless. Ritchie’s so in love with his own endless, gibbering dialogue you almost feel you are being water-boarded by arguing Cockneys. It’s not even morally ambivalent – it’s without morals. If you enjoy nastiness, violence, torture – well, fetch the Saw box set.
Tom Wilkinson does his best, but for a decent character actor it must be like swimming in syrup – the rest of the players are as interchangeable as foul-mouthed cartoons.
The irritatingly loud soundtrack, the gun porn, the seen-it-comin’ double-crosses – have we been here before? Add to this the hilarious fact that RocknRolla is just about the most unintentionally homoerotic ﬁlm in history.
With each new turkey, Ritchie digs himself a bigger hole – his reputation-making Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels has long been re-assessed as fun-but-dumb.
Although RocknRolla does have one thing going for it – it’s better than Revolver.