Customer Review

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If the criminal ranks in London are comprised of losers like this, it's a wonder that anyone gets away with anything, 26 Feb 2010
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This review is from: Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels [Blu-ray] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Irreverent, violent and wickedly clever, this smart-mouthed UK crime picture concerns four nice loveable rouges who get into some bad company and must get themselves out before things get really ugly. Cardsharp Eddie wheedles his way into a high stakes game run by a unpleasant porn peddler and all-around nasty villain Hatchet Harry, thinking he can turn his £100,000 stake into some really big money. But the game's rigged and Eddie walks away owing Harry £500,000; if he doesn't pay up in a week, Harry's gangsters will take Eddie's dad's bar in lieu of the cash. Oh, and three-quarters of the original stake belonged to Eddie's three pals, who can ill-afford to lose that kind of money. Fortunately, the flat next door to Eddie's houses four extravagantly loud ammeter and incompetent coke sniffing weed selling drug dealing thieves and the walls are very thin: so Eddie knows the blundering baddies have a big score in the works, and ripping them off to appease Hatchet Harry seems a reasonable way out of the mess.

When it comes to characters, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels boasts no fewer than 22 significant roles. Many of the actors are not recognizable faces. In fact, a few of them are making their motion picture debuts. For the most part, everyone does a solid job essaying one of the various inept thugs or criminals. Those familiar with the British soap "Eastenders" will find that any of the characters from Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels would fit into the neighborhood of Albert Square with little difficulty ( Some have even ended up there) . Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels has plenty of laughs and a few surprises to offer to all but the most squeamish of viewers. It's a superior thriller made with the guts and gusto that too many recycled entries into the genre fail to exhibit. It's a slickly edited movie with no real stand-out performances (in fact some of the London accents are well dodgy), but the presence of soccer hardman Vinnie Jones, making his surprisingly effective acting debut.

This larky, self-aware crime picture has Tarantino-esque written all over it. First-time writer-director Guy Ritchie appears to have been paying attention to what made Reservoir Dogs work. Consequently, his film has both characters and a story, complicated by a slew of carefully worked out intertwing subplots involving boneheaded burglars, antique shotguns, yuppie hydroponic dope farmers, Debit Collectors, Hit men, Jamaican drug dealers and multiple gangs of hard. The film relies uniquely on heavily on ironic plot twists, blink and you will be lost. One of the most enjoyable aspects of Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels is appreciating the way in which the story unfolds, using both expected and unanticipated turns to enhance the comic flavor. To the very end, the movie manages to be unpredictable, and it never loses its sense of humor.

Surface likenesses aside, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels is actually a kinder, gentler motion picture than Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction. While there's as much violence. All of the most vicious acts occur off screen. We see the ramifications, but we miss the genuine brutality. This effectively distances the viewer from the bloodshed, allowing us to see the proceedings in an almost surreal light.
If the criminal ranks in London are comprised of losers like this, it's a wonder that anyone gets away with anything.
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