Movie Review: Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

Posted: December 3, 2011 in Drama

Eddy (Nick Moran) is a card player.  His roommates, Tom, (Jason Flemyng) Soap (Dexter Fletcher) and Bacon (Jason Statham) put up 25,000 pounds each so that Eddy can play in a high stakes card game with Hatchet Harry (PH Moriarty) Harry has a scare to settle with Eddy’s dad JD, (Sting) because JD won a huge pile of money from Harry in a card game, which he used to buy a bar.  Now Harry wants revenge, so Harry gets his bodyguard Barry the Baptist (Lenny McClean) not only beats Eddy in the game, but sticks Eddy and his pals with a 500,000 pound debt.  How will Eddy and the guys raise half a million dollars in three days?  One set of Eddy’s neighbors grows pot, another set of neighbors wants to rob the pot growing neighbors, and Barry the Baptist has a plan to steal two antique guns, with the help of two of the dumbest criminals ever.  What happens when all these people intersect?

Don’t bother to find out.  This is the classic victory of style over substance.  This movie is all low camera angles and dudes in sharp clothes doing very violent things to each other, and none of it makes a bit of sense, not in the least.  Sure, some of it is funny, but this movie suffers from the same excesses as the other Guy Ritchie movies I’ve seen, Rock N’ Rolla and to a lesser extent Sherlock Holmes.  Namely, there are too many characters and too many plot lines to keep track of.  It seems like every few minutes, Ritchie is introducing four new characters, it’s exhausting.  There’s a rule in action movies, keep it simple stupid, and Guy Ritchie breaks that rule into a thousand pieces.  Some people have the audacity to compare Ritchie to Quentin Tarantino, they’re not even worth a comparison.  Since Reservoir Dogs, he’s gone on to make such different and yet equally compelling films as Kill Bill and the WWII epic Inglorious Basterds.  Tarantino’s grown in leaps and bounds while Ritchie is still turning out the same parochial small time hood crime comedies.

Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels:  Schlock, Shock, and two hours of smoke and mirrors!

 

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