Reviewed by: Daniel Thompson
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|Featuring:||Nonso Anozie, Charlotte Armer, Gemma Arterton, David Bark-Jones, Geoff Bell, Morne Botes, Gerard Butler, Jamie Campbell Bower, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Toby Kebbell, Matt King, David Leon, Andy Linden, Chris Bridges, Roland Manookian, Dragan Micanovic, Jimi Mistry, Tiffany Mulheron, Thandie Newton, Jeremy Piven, James Puddephatt, Laurence Richardson, Blake Ritson, Karel Roden, Thomas Rooke, Michael Ryan, Anton Saunders, David Sterne, Robert Stone, Mark Strong, Johan van Vuuren, Bronson Webb, Tom Wilkinson|
|Producer:||Dark Castle Entertainment, Steve Clark-Hall, Susan Downey, Navid McIlhargey, Lauren Meek, Steve Richards, Guy Ritchie, Joel Silver|
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
“A story of sex, thugs and rock 'n roll.”
Mixing humor with sex, drugs, and stylistic violence, Guy Ritchie (“Snatch”, “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels”) is back directing yet another film about the fictional underbelly of the London crime world. In this ultimately mindless actioner, Ritchie treads familiar waters borrowing liberally from his previous works as well as Quentin Tarantino to make a consistently entertaining picture.
I won’t confuse you with intricate details of the plot, because it probably wouldn’t make much sense on paper. Like Ritchie’s better films, “Rocknrolla” features a winding narrative with quick cuts and lots of characters. With a few plot twists, the various stories manage to intertwine together by the end of the film, and your tolerance of this style of filmmaking will likely dictate your opinion of the film. Ritchie knows how to make a movie like this, as he’s done so on several occasions, and while that makes the material lack in originality, it’s handled well and the film remains entertaining.
One of the reasons this movie works is because of the wonderful ensemble cast on display. Tom Wilkinson is almost unrecognizable as the heavy, especially if you’ve seen him recently in anything like “Michael Clayton” or “Batman Begins”. Gerard Butler of “300” fame proves he can do more than yell about Sparta by playing a low level crook in somewhat over his head. Everyone excels in their given role aside from Chris Bridges (Rapper ‘Ludacris’). Bridges has the ability to act well, as proved in the excellent “Crash”, but here he seems stilted and out of place. He doesn’t get much screen time so it’s no more than a blip on the radar.
From a Christian viewing standpoint, obviously serious discretion is needed for this film. The subject matter deals exclusively with criminals, and they act exactly how you would expect criminals to act. While there’s a great deal of violence, the gore is held to moderate levels as more often than not Ritchie pans away and has the results of the violence occur off screen. There’s also a nonstop barrage of language, a lot of which is used in sexual connotations. Sexual acts are mostly implied and kept off screen, as well.
Do you get much redemption or positivity in exchange for your discernment? Sadly, no. The one major thing the discerning viewer could take away from the film is the clear negative effect of drug use on one’s life. Drug use is almost always portrayed in a negative light, and you see how it eats away at a person mentally, physically, and emotionally. You also see what happens when someone turns from drug use and gets there life back together.
Whether or not that is enough to warrant a viewing of “Rocknrolla” is up to you. It’s definitely fun, but if you’re looking for substance and redemption, your money is probably better spent elsewhere.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy
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