Screen Reviews

Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels

dir. by Guy Ritchie

Our four likely lads, Tom, Nick, Soap, and Eddie, have rounded up enough ill-gotten gains to play in a high stakes poker game with Hatchet Harry, the Porn King. Oops, the game is rigged, and their 100,000 pound stake is now a 500,000 pound liability, due in a week with an interest rate of 1 finger a day each. After a few drinks in a Samoan pub, they hatch a complicated plot to rip of their neighbors, who themselves are about to rip off a local Ganja farm. If this works, they pay the debt and remain fully fingered. Hilarity ensues when the plans go awry, and dang near everyone in the movie dies from slow motion gunshot wounds, filmed in grisly slow motion. Yup, it’s a comedy. Flying guts are quite amusing if the set up is right.

Filmed in grit-o-vision in some of the seedier parts of London, the boys are cartoonish visions of prep school boys gone bad. The criminals they deal with are even more one dimensional, but all the one dimensional pieces fit to make a two dimensional story flow along at a decent clip. Part of the film has subtitles, which helps explain a small part of the story. More subtitles would have helped, as people where constantly whispering to their friends, “what did he say?” “Beats me. I only speak American.”

Does this film have a message? No. Does this film have acting? Sure.

Does this film have plot? You’ll trip over it. I haven’t even mentioned the two antique shot guns, the dope farmer’s girlfriend, or the fact that everyone seems to have six or seven big weapons in gunaphobic England. All these pieces fit together, and if they don’t – BLAM! – shoot that plot point. It needed to die.

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