Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels: Complicated Heists

Hello everybody! For this week’s movie club we have an interesting gangster comedy Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS

lock_stock_and_two_smoking_barrels_ver1_xlg

DIRECTOR: Guy Ritchie

STARRING: Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran, Jason Statham,
Steven Mackintosh, Vinnie Jones, Sting

GENRE: Crime, Comedy, Thriller

YEAR: 1998

COUNTRY: United Kingdom

Eddy has been known as a cardsharp since he was young. So he and his three friends Soap, Tom and Bacon all decide to chip in £25,000 each to allow him to play in an illegal high-roller game run by one of the local villains, Hatchet Harry. However, Eddy didn’t realize the game was crooked and he ends up owing Harry £500,000 with dire threats about losing his fingers one at a time if he doesn’t pay within a week! Eddy and his friends discuss various completely illegal schemes to obtain the money and eventually decide to rip-off the gang of thieves next door who themselves are planning to raid a clandestine drug growing operation which keeps all of its money in shoe boxes where they grow the cannabis plants. The scheme is simple enough but the best laid plans of mice and men always seems to go awry as does this one. As extreme chaos breaks loose the violence and associated body count spiral out of control, Eddy and his friends realize that they are out of their depth and desperately try to find a way out before they too find themselves among the casualties!

lock-stockA myriad of colourful characters quickly and often unwittingly become embroiled in an ever-escalating, increasingly intricate, always irreverent series of events. Drug dealers, hired goons, thieves and more than enough hard guys than would usually be required to change a lightbulb all descend upon the four in ways that are circuitous, coincidental and convenient.

The body count grows steadily, though for a long while most of the violence occurs offscreen, but as the stakes are raised and the number of participants grows it is inevitable that so many guys waving guns about will eventually bring casualties, many of which fall in quick succession.

ls-stathamDespite this Lock, Stock is hardly a ‘video nasty’ akin to Hostel and the Saw films, but a wildly entertaining and creative Cops n Robbers tale sans the Cops that shows good plotting and well crafted dialogue can elevate a film above the pack.

With so many characters, you can imagine how complex the plot could get—and it gets even more complex than that. I considered trying to summarize it, but really it’s something you have to see to believe. Part of the experience of watching the movie is trying to follow how much each character knows of what’s going on, and whether they’re walking straight into a terrible situation. I recommend turning on the English subtitles if you’re not used to British accents so you can more easily follow the plot and appreciate the expertly written dialogue.

PROS:

  • Wildly entertaining.
  • Cops and Robbers with no Cops
  • Main cast performances.
  • Supporting cast performances

CONS:

  • Too many characters!
  • Overly complex plot

SCORE: 7.9 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.

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