Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Title: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Year: 1998 (UK), 1999 (US)
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher, Nick Moran, Jason Statham
Music: David A. Hughes & John Murphy (mostly non-original music)
Distinctions: currently #189 on IMDb’s Top 250
Synopsis: various groups of violent criminals steal from each other and cuss a lot
Length: 107 minutes
How I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), December 2008
Subjective Rating: 6/10 (Okay).
Objective Rating: 6/10 (points off for dialog, cinematography, special effects/design and music) c. 2.4/4 (Okay).

It tries really hard to be clever and hip and exciting, but there just isn’t much to it that’s really memorable. There are some great characters, but they hardly get a chance to come through. It’s a good story, but its execution is a bit of a confusing mess. The dialog is good with regards to developing characters, bad with regards to moving the plot. They somehow managed to light every single set and/or location exactly the same, with the same color palette, so when they fast-cut between scenes, you’re likely to not notice it (not to mention being visually mind-numbing). There’s great music (an eclectic Tarantino-style soundtrack), but it doesn’t really fit the movie (which is sort of an old-style crime film on speed, far from the post-modern homage-a-thon that would justify a mix-tape in place of a score). I get the feeling Guy Ritchie would make a great writer for a different director.


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