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Solidly good! Toby Kebbell stands out in what may be the best Guy Ritchie movie.
on June 26, 2017
"Rocknrolla" was a solidly good movie and quietly could be Guy Ritchie's best movie. It had a nice subtle sophistication to it, and it lacked the shocking, stomach-turning violence of "Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch." It allowed you to concentrate on the plot developments, acting, and characters, all of which were good.
What was missing from this movie that the first two movies in his gangster-tough guy trilogy had was that brawling confidence. It was sort of missing that creativity and freshness of the first two movies in the realm of graphics and editing. There was something exciting, creative, and adrenaline-pumping about the first two movies, but somehow, this movie slowed down, hit its stride, and was probably better in the fundamentals. Again, it helped a lot that it didn't have any sickening and sociopathic violence in it. That allowed you to kick back and enjoy the show without it making you feel too uneasy. The music was fun and spot-on in many places, although it was a little too prosaic in other places. In an odd way, this movie feels a little bit over the hill and nursing-homey in places, but that doesn't stop this from being an excellent movie. It has the familiar stew of Russian gangsters who are indestructible, Rasputin-style, along with other Guy Ritchie trademarks. I can't decide if I'm tired of these elements, or if it's totally fine and cool to see them again, and perhaps I'm just over analyzing things. In any event, the acting by Tom Hardy and Jeremy Piven is very good, while the standout of the movie must be Toby Kebbell playing Johnny Quid. He gives an awesomely troubled and sensitive performance as the wayward step-son of the lead gangster played by Tom Wilkinson.
All around, this movie was very good, although somewhat lacking the verve of "Lock Stock....." and "Snatch," but far better in other ways. I definitely recommend it, but I'd watch it with the subtitles on if you're American. I give it three to three and a half stars.