Thursday, July 24, 2003

The Movie I Watched Last Night LXXII

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Written and directed by Guy Ritchie, this 1999 movie is a neo-noir British comedy of errors involving four working-class chums who get way too involved in some of London's seedier activities. One friend is extremely good at reading people's reactions and emotions, so he enters a high-stakes card game, which he loses. Now he and his friends need to come up with half a million pounds in a week's time. They conspire to steal the money from some other thieves, and this catalyzes a clumsy circle of crime in which everyone's stealing from each other to pay each other back: money, pot, and guns. In the end, the foursome get off relatively scot free but are in no way redeemed of their opportunism, as the final scene attests. Some of the best vignettes involved Lenny McLean's character Barry the Baptist and the pairing of father-son street toughs Big Chris and Little Chris. And I was thrilled that Sting's role was as down played as it was. Interesting in a British Quentin Tarantino kind of way, but not overly impressive in terms of story or cinematography.

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