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.