Plot: In London, a real-estate scam puts millions of pounds up for grabs, attracting the attention of some of the city's scrappiest tough guys (Gerard Butler and his gang 'The Wild Bunch') its more established underworld players (Tom Wilkinson), and several others all looking to get a slice of the action.
Review: ROCKNROLLA isn't a terrible film, but it isn't a great one either. The background to this review is that I went into this film expecting absolutely nothing from Ritchie. I watch SNATCH all the time it's that great, but the joint disappointments of SWEPT AWAY and REVOLVER meant that any love I had for the guy has long disappeared. And let's face it, if you're really honest with yourself you can tell from the trailer that this movie isn't going to be a true return to form.
Just like LOCK STOCK and SNATCH, the movie is an imbroglio set in the criminal underworld that all comes together in the end. Except this time around things are a lot more contrived and a lot less funny. I'm not even sure how some of the plot points were resolved in the end. And where SNATCH had me laughing at every other piece of dialog, this time around I could count on one hand the number of times I actually thought something was funny. And I'm pretty sure every time, Gerard Butler was involved.
Butler is great, by the way. And thank god, because after NIM'S ISLAND and P.S. I LOVE YOU I was ready to drop this guy too. His scenes with Idris Elba and Tom Hardy are consistently great. Thandie Newton is gorgeous, but that's nothing you wouldn't expect. That chick was born to give erections. Mark Strong steals it though, coming out of nowhere to play what is essentially the protagonist if this film really has one. It's no surprise that Ritchie has signed him up for SHERLOCK HOLMES. Jeremy Piven and Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges do absolutely nothing. Saying either of these guys have fantastic creative range is like saying Heroclix is a fantastic way to get you laid.
Overall, I really don't think this film has anything to offer. It's not a waste of your time by any stretch of the imagination, but you're not gonna see anything new here. Far too much time is spent on introspective diatribes about drugs or cigarettes and shit like that, when it could have been spent on Gerard Butler and his 'Wild Bunch'. In fact I feel like if we dumped all of the stuff with Johnny Quid (Toby Kebbell), we'd have had a really great movie on our hands. Unfortunately that ain't the case, though. I guess the best thing to say is that after the atrocities he has committed, it's a step in the right direction for Ritchie.
CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...