RocknRolla: Special Edition

DVD Reviews | Jan 26th, 2009

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Starring Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Strong, Thandie Newton, Idris Elba, Jeremy Piven, Ludacris, Tom Hardy, Toby Kebbell
Written By: Guy Ritchie
Directed By: Guy Ritchie
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I love Guy Ritchie films minus Swept Away. RocknRolla is the latest from the British director and he returns to form with another crime film, filled with comedy, action, drama and suspense. While the movie may be confusing at times, repeat viewings will make RocknRolla a better movie.

RocknRolla takes place in London like most Ritchie films do. The film focuses on underworld Crime Boss, Lenny (Tom Wilkinson) and his second-in-command Archie (Mark Strong). Archie narrates the film and tells the audience about his boss and how he does things. Early on, Lenny strikes a land deal with a Russian property dealer Uri. Uri lends Lenny his lucky priceless painting out of good faith. It’s a very lucrative deal but the plan goes sour when a group of thieves known as The Wild Bunch intercepts the money that’s suppose to go to Uri. Urins accountant, Stella, is behind the robbery but Uri or Lenny doesn’t know that. The Wild Bunch consists of One Two (Gerard Butler), Mumbles (Idris Elba) and Handsome Bob (Tom Hardy). The lucky painting turns up missing from Lennyns place and ends up in the hands Johnny Quid (Toby Kebbell), Lennyns stepson and junkie pop star who faked his own death to get more popular. Archie and his crew are trying to get back the painting and Uri is trying to figure out who’s stealing all his money. It all comes together at the end though. Anymore explaining would give away too much of the plot and confuse you even more.

Like with all Guy Ritchie movies, I think they get better with multiple viewings. They tend to be too confusing or fast paced first time around. Usually each movie he does, they have complex storylines but they all come together at the end. So when you finally get to the end, you want to see it again and enjoy it even more. I loved how the movie takes place in London and glad Ritchie went back to his roots of UK crime stories. Hey, if it works might as well stick with what you’re good at. I also like how this movie is a mixture of comedy, action, and drama.

The film offers an impressive cast with Tom Wilkinson and Gerard Butler starring. But I thought the strongest performances were from Mark Strong and Toby Kebbell. I bet you’ll be seeing them a lot from now on. I was wondering where I recognized Mark Strong from and he was in Stardust. It was cool to see Jeremy Piven and Ludacris in the movie but felt they were a little underused. Their characters were secondary though. Butler was funny with his role, and he was very likable. The Wild Bunch were all very likable and I hope they make a sequel like Guy Ritchie wanted to. There wasn’t enough backstory of the Wild Bunch so I would like to see another movie with them.

For a special edition DVD, I was disappointed in the features. There’s audio commentary but I never really listen to that since most of the movies that I’m reviewing are first viewings. I’m sure Guy Ritchie and Mark Strong had some cool things to say, I just wish it was in featurette more. The only featurette we get is an 8 minute featurette about how London has changed in the last 15 years. It’s turning more into Chicago and New York Guy Ritchie says. All the rich people are taking over the city and rent is going to skyrocket. Yikes, maybe I should re-think my desire to move to London? The other extra is a deleted scene but it wasn’t that special.

RocknRolla will be enjoyed by fans of crime caper and Guy Ritchie movies. It might be too British for some American viewers but I liked this movie. I may not have followed it at times but when the movie ended, everything came together. Now I want to see it again. Guy Ritchie movies have that effect on people. Be sure to check out the soundtrack as well because Ritchie always delivers an excellent soundtrack to his movies!

– Commentary by Writer/Director Guy Ritchie and Co-Star Mark Strong
– Additional Scene
– Guy’s Town: The Director Reflects on His Fascination with Ever-Evolving London
– Digital Copy of the Film

ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
SPANISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1

Widescreen 2.35:1 Color (Anamorphic)

English, Spanish, French

Favorite Scenes: The Wild Bunch running from the Russians, Handsome Bob and One Two in the car, scenes with Archie
Rating: R
Running Time: 115 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: