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The Demise of Guy Ritchie

Cas tried to convince me to go and catch a flick with him last night. He wanted to see 12 Rounds, a film staring wrestler John Cena, and directed by Renny Harlin, the man responsible for Die Hard 2 and other cinematic masterpieces. For some reason I didn't feel like throwing sixteen odd dollars at that. I could've maybe bought some bad drugs mixed with lead shavings and had a better time, you know?

Eventually, though, we settled on hiring out a DVD. It cost us two bucks to hire a recent release, which I figure is a sign of the video store market breaking beneath the weight of all those anti-piracy commercials that makes everyone want to run off and download. We weren't really in the mood for anything good, even though I had drawn the line at the Cena flick. Mostly, that was about the cash. New Seagal films and Van Damme films got a glance, as did some vampire flick staring what one could assume was a cleaned up Jason Mewes, also known as Jay from Kevin Smith's Jay and Silent Bob. Some martial arts flicks got a look. A documentary about America that claimed to have never been released in the States because it told the shocking truth about the country's fascination with violence also got a look. Having recently sat through a report on the new dog of the Obama's, I didn't think it was such a surprise where this came from. At any rate, we eventually ended up settling on the new Guy Ritchie film, Rock-N-Rolla.

Ritchie grabbed a bit of fame with his second film, Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, a small, stylish crime film that came out around the time of Pulp Fiction. That film wasn't too bad, I thought: funny, a little stylish, a way to pass the time. His follow up film was Snatch, a messy crime film of which the only redeeming feature within it was a barely understandable Brad Pitt. Shortly after that, Ritchie fell in with Madonna, and made a film called Swept Away, which I skipped. Directors putting girlfriends in films has never been the best thing, to my mind, but Snatch was such a mess that I mostly couldn't stomach another. I missed the next film, Revolver, but I finally caught up with Rock-N-Rolla, a crime film that was proposed capers, drugs, and music. It did all those things, mind you, but it was such a shambling, incoherent mess that I can't, even now, understand why I was subjected to long, pseudo intellectual speeches by the film's resident drug addict and musician, Toby Kebbell. I would maybe have been there if Brad Pitt was making them in an accent that required subtitles, but no.

Still, what really bothered me was just how little newness there was in the film. All the fun, stylish things that were in Lock, Stock, were here in the new film, but they were stale, old, and without any new spin or growth. It was as if you had come across that friend who had found a fashion in the early nineties, and was still wearing the clothes from there, clinging to the ideals and concepts and presentation as if they could never go wrong.

In other words, Rock-N-Rolla kind've sucked.

(crossposted)

Comments

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jody_macgregor
Apr. 15th, 2009 10:21 am (UTC)
Sure did. I enjoyed Snatch but even I was put off by RocknRolla. The way Thandie Newton's character got conveniently forgotten about and that obnoxious NOW WAIT FOR ROCKNROLLA 2 ending, man.
benpeek
Apr. 15th, 2009 11:19 am (UTC)
yeah, what was with that ending? it's like, hey, here's a film with characters you don't care about and now we're giving you a dodgy idea of a sequal...
strangedave
Apr. 15th, 2009 01:52 pm (UTC)
I think the worst flaw in the film, of many flaws, was that Ritchie so obviously thought that character was awesome, so awesome he should be the centre of the film despite having almost nothing to do with the plot, so awesome he could support a sequel -- and the character in question was a repellent and uninteresting, as was obvious to just about everyone except Ritchie.

Yeah, it kind've sucked. A couple of scenes that reminded you of when his films didn't suck, but overall a dire film.
benpeek
Apr. 17th, 2009 12:06 am (UTC)
yeah, it was awful, wasn't it? the worse part was that you could kind've see that if he had just taken that part out of the film, it would've gotten a lot stronger.
ninebelow
Apr. 15th, 2009 10:37 am (UTC)
directed by Renny Harlin, the man responsible for Die Hard 2 and other cinematic masterpieces.

Die Hard 2 actually was his masterpiece. It was all down hill from there.

Revolver is bizarre film; an attmept to cross snatch with Ocean's Eleven but through the insane prism of kabballah.
benpeek
Apr. 15th, 2009 11:20 am (UTC)
i thought LONG KISS GOODNIGHT was the one decent film he made, myself...
ninebelow
Apr. 15th, 2009 12:37 pm (UTC)
I could happily watch that or Deep Blue Sea but I wouldn't go so far as to say they were actually good.
benpeek
Apr. 15th, 2009 12:42 pm (UTC)
maybe on the sliding scale of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET whatever number he directed is on?

(i think it was four)
usmu
Apr. 15th, 2009 10:59 am (UTC)
One of my "lets see if you and I can be friends"-question is asking which one's better: snatch of Lock Stock. LS&2SB being the right answer of course. I like that movie a lot. Just the fact that it features Vinnie Jones makes it worth watching.

The problem with Guy Ritchie seems to be he's making the same movie over and over again. As with moth sequels they get worse and worse.

benpeek
Apr. 15th, 2009 11:20 am (UTC)
are you watching these moth sequels?
usmu
Apr. 16th, 2009 09:09 am (UTC)
Not really. I'm more into butterflies these days.
shadowsandice
Apr. 16th, 2009 12:21 pm (UTC)
...I need to watch films before you watch films and write about them.
benpeek
Apr. 17th, 2009 12:05 am (UTC)
no way!
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