Kurt Loder Reviews Guy Ritchie's 'RocknRolla'

'RocknRolla'FROM MTV.COM How bad can the world economy be if people are still giving Guy Ritchie money to make movies? On the 10th anniversary of his breakthrough with "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" — a film about the near-incomprehensible doings of a group of London toughies with names like Dog, Plank, and Barry the Baptist — Ritchie is back with "RocknRolla," a film about the almost entirely incomprehensible doings of a group of London toughies with names like Waster, Tank and Fred the Head. Given the crash-and-burn of his last mob job, the utterly incomprehensible "Revolver" (with French Paul, Fat Dan and Lord John), the time would seem to have come for Ritchie to stop making this movie.

The plot of "RocknRolla" can be suggested in only the most impressionistic terms. There's an old-school bad guy named Lenny (Tom Wilkinson, channeling Bob Hoskins in "The Long Good Friday") and a new-school Russian bad guy named Uri (Karel Roden, revisiting the shady Russki he played in "The Bourne Supremacy"). There are also a pair of low-level gangsters named One Two and Handsome Bob (Gerard Butler and Tom Hardy), and a pair of unlikely club owners named Mickey and Roman (Jeremy Piven and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges), and a nest of gamblers called the Wild Bunch, and a crafty accountant named Stella (Thandie Newton), and a drugged-out rock star called Johnny Quid (Toby Kebbell), who happens to be Lenny's stepson (not that it matters). Suave Mark Strong plays Lenny's enforcer, Archie, and gives the only really interesting performance in the movie.

Continue reading Kurt Loder's review of "RocknRolla" at MTV.com.