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"What d'you think we are? Gangsters?": RocknRolla

I like Guy Richie's movies. I loved Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. Therefore, it's not surprising that I enjoyed RocknRolla. Aside from the admittedly rather stupid title, it's not a bad little film...as long as you liked Richie's first two movies. Because to be honest, it's more or less the same thing. Not quite as good, but definitely a monstrous improvement over Swept Away.

The plot is familiar to any Richie aficionados--there are schmucks. There are unpleasant members of the London underworld. There are twists and turns and coincidences and chance meetings and some cars that smash together and some ass-kicking and a little bit of sex and some very funny lines and quite a few casualties. On the downside, there is no Jason Statham (I was surprised--I assumed there was some contractual agreement that he had to star in all of Richie's films) but Gerard Butler is a big yummy hunk of man-candy, which was enough to make me happy. The acting is pretty good, and all the performers manage to deliver Richie's sometimes unwieldy dialogue with the proper amount of snap. The plot moves along pretty well, and there is always something going on. There are also some moments of surprisingly interesting cinematography--particularly during the chase-scene with the winded Russian.

I guess I'd have to say this this sort of like a Kevin Smith movie, in that if you like Kevin Smith, you will like his movies, and if you don't, nothing he does is probably going to change your mind. Guy Richie is the same way--his movies are what they are, and if that's something you dig, then you'll probably want to pick this one up.

(I am also hoping that the notable rise in quality from this over his previous few films bodes well for his much-anticipated [at least by me] adaptation of Sherlock Holmes starring RDJ.)

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