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RocknRolla (SE)
DVD disk
02.24.2009 By: Jason Adams
RocknRolla (SE) order
Director:
Guy Ritchie

Actors:
Gerard Butler
Tom Wilkinson
Thandie Newton

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A complex tale of thieves, gangsters, musicians, social hierarchy, a stolen painting and real estate.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
People have been waiting for Guy Ritchie to live up to the one-two punch of LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS and SNATCH. Unfortunately he married Madonna soon after and like a filmic succubus she seemingly sucked all the talent right out from under him. Now after a couple misfires, Ritchie plays it safe and returns to what made him famous in the first place.

And I mean that almost literally, to the point that ROCKNROLLA feels kind of like a retread of exactly what Ritchie has done in the past. Itís comic, violent, fast paced, and highly stylized (though nowhere near as hyperactive as SNATCH). There are good bad guys and bad good guys, people with funny nicknames, people who talk funny and even some old fashioned double crosses. The only thing missing this time is Jason Statham. (Of course, heís missing from every movie.)

But honestly all that familiarity didnít really stop me from enjoying the film. It moves along quick enough that you donít really have time to stop and worry about the similarities. Thereís still enough energy and a balance of fun and seriousness (most of which comes from the cast) that kept me entertained. Tom Wilkinson is the epitome of this. Heís ruthless and a right bastard in the movie, but heís got a touch of fast talking fun to his character that made me like him just a little. Same with Gerard Butler, who plays the tough guy but with a bit of a sexual identity crisis that poked fun at his 300 persona. I also dug Mark Strong as Archie, who did a lot with reasonably little. Unfortunately, Thandie Newton, like in so many movies, comes off as cinematic dead weight. Sheís hot, but she doesnít come off as sexy (yes, thereís a difference) and has no personality to back it up. And Jeremy Piven fans will be disappointed to know heís wasted here.

By the final scene, which blatantly leaves room for more ROCKNROLLA adventures, I found myself intrigued enough to keep watching. If Guy Ritchie wants to keep going back to the well, Iíll probably be there to meet him.
THE EXTRAS
For the last time, including a Digital Copy and calling it a 2-Disc Special Edition is cheating!

Commentary by Guy Ritchie and Mark Strong: Ritchie and Strong, who plays Archie, have a good back and forth, but content-wise this commentary didnít really do much to hold my interest.

Guyís Town (8:33): A look at London as viewed from Ritchieís perspective, straight from the manís mouth.

Deleted Scene (2:00): Gerard Butler running on a treadmill. This oneís for the ladies.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Technically, ROCKNROLLA is a departure for Guy Ritchie, as the shady characters dabble in real estate, not diamonds or antique guns. Okay, so itís nothing remotely original for the director, but if youíre a fan of his pre-Madonna stuff, youíll at least get some comfort and enjoyment out of it. Hereís hoping his SHERLOCK HOLMES turns out good.

Extra Tidbit: The movie The Tank is watching in the car is HOT FUZZ.
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