113 Min. | Action – Crime – Thriller | September 2008
IMDB Rating: 7.3
Director: Guy Ritchie
Staring: Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Idris Elba
RocknRolla Review: RocknRolla seems to be the beginning of the resurrection of Guy Ritchie’s career. Not to anyone’s surprise he does this with what he has been so potent with throughout his career, a British gangster film. If you’ve had any experience with Ritchie movies you know exactly what you’re getting into here, a comedic thriller. This of course may seem problematic, in Ritchie’s case it is not. The writing and dialog is fast paced and quite witty and entertaining to watch. RocknRolla as a whole maybe be a bit of a head scratcher here and there but the pay off is good and the idea is a bit of a parody of itself which is what makes RocknRolla so fun.
What Ritchie accomplishes though, in the same way he has with his past successful productions is putting together an extremely diverse and yet correlating cast. RocknRolla starts with the lead man in Gerard Butler whose notoriety has steadily risen largely through his performances of comical caricatures. With RocknRolla Butler seems to have found a role perfect for his appeal and charm he brings to the screen. This is largely because of a witty script and great, fun performances all around. Then of course there is Mark Strong who until this year was largely a total unknown, at least in the American mainstream. While Gerard Butler may have found a genre he is most strongly suited for, Mark Strong could certainly use this along with Body of Lies to launch to the very least a respectable acting career. His posture, range and ability to change tone and style subtly not only between films but within them is something that should be and surely will be recognized.
With a kicking soundtrack that includes the likes of The Clash, The Hives, The Subways, Lou Reed and The Sonics, it’s not just the crime caper plot that positively pings. There’s some links to Pulp Fiction, a painting we never see echoes the running suitcase gag, while a wonderful dance sequence between Butler and Newton of course nods to Uma and John. But it’s fine, this is Ritchie’s world and its fun, sexy and cunningly dangerous. Overall, Ritchie gives us a deep, crazy, and fun film. When it’s over, you think how RocknRolla could possibly be made better. As if right on cue, the question is answered. A sequel, The Real Rocknrolla, is announced on screen.