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.

Deep Rising: Poorly CGI Tentacle Monster

DEEP RISING

STARRING: Treat Williams, Famke Janssen, Kevin J. O’Connor, Anthony Heald, Wes Studi, Derrick O’Connor, Cliff Curtis, Una Damon, Djimon Hounsou, Jason Flemyng, Clifton Powell, Trevor Goddard

DIRECTOR: Stephan Sommers

GENRE: Action, Horror

YEAR:  1998

COUNTRY: United States

When a band of ruthless hijackers invade the world’s most luxurious cruise ship, they’re shocked to discover the passengers have mysteriously vanished! But that doesn’t mean they are alone! Something terrifying is lurking just out of sight: a deadly force from the unexplored depths of the ocean that begins to snatch the horrified intruders one by one! On one hand, we’ve got a luxury liner making its maiden cruise whose passengers include a sexy burglar and a crook. On the other hand, we have a small, very fast ship full of mercenaries and torpedoes, whose crew is asking too few questions. In the middle, a member of the Ottoia family, and no, that’s not a drug lord. It’s a giant priapulid worm.

 

Sometimes you have generic no-brainers that bore you (like “Virus”) and other times you get generic no-brainers that actually entertain. Deep Rising is part of the latter category. This movie is stupid and it knows it. It’s very déjà vu and it knows it. But most of all, it’s guilty fun and it knows it! You want to see lots of gunplay? Tough guy stare downs? Chase sequences involving giant CGI tentacles? Or maybe some sea-doos riding around inside a cruise ship? If so, you’re in the right spot. To make everything even more enjoyable, we’re also treated to some sometimes-excessive gore (didn’t see that axe thang coming), funny one-liners (Williams and O’Connor are all about that) and situational humor that actually works (Wes Studi’s last bullet scene cracked me up).

The CGI is at times very obvious (the full creature looks like shite) and the blue screen gives a lot of potentially scary scenes away (you know something is going to happen before it happens because you see the flick jump into blue screen mode). The movie also overstays its welcome by about 15 minutes, gets very repetitive (creature attacks, they run away, creature attacks, they run away…) and is fairly predictable.

It could’ve skipped on some of the more tired conventions: The stalk sequences involving characters wandering alone in the dark take a bit too much time to get to the point (mainly because we know they’re gonna die). And did we really need the token traitor that winds up getting the worst death? Or the guy that always seems to know where the creature came from (actually the same guy)? Not really. The film could’ve also upped Tooch’s girlfriend subplot. Why did they even write her in? They hardly use her or capitalize on the fact that she’s his girl. Could’ve increased the stakes with her character.

PROS:

  • Stupid and fun.
  • Gunplay & other action elements.
  • Excessive gore.

CONS:

  • Obviously obvious.
  • Repetitive.
  • Lenth.
  • Too many conventions.

SCORE: 6.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music for me to review, drop me a comment! Remember: Like Media In Review @ https://www.facebook.com/MediaInReview?ref=hl Follow Media in Review @ https://twitter.com/Media_In_Review.