When a Russian mobster, Victor, (Dragan Micanovic) orchestrates a crooked land deal, millions of dollars are up for grabs, and all of London's criminal underworld wants in on the action - especially Lenny Cole (Tom Wilkinson). Everyone from Lenny the dangerous crime lord to Stella (Thandie Newton) who is Victor's sexy accountant, a corrupt council official (Jimi Mistry) and down-on-their-luck petty thieves like Cookie (Matt King) conspire, collude and collide with one another in an effort to get rich quick. Before they get killed, if possible.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
There are no goodies in this story set in the greedy underbelly of London, its morally bankrupt characters feeding off the rising cost of land, where bribery and corruption, betrayal and violence are the norm.
A messy, often self-indulgent film with some redeeming features (including some of its humour), Guy Ritchie's crime thriller has above average intelligence, a great cast but a below par story structure. As a result, the film plays as if it were twice as long as its running time, and there are times we wish Ritchie would stop convoluting the film with flourishes that add twirls but no real dramatic substance. There is a splendid chase sequence which starts with a surprise car crash, some sexual jokery and lots of lowlife atmos.
Confusion notwithstanding, audiences will have a good time with this colourful underworld, even though it shows us nothing fresh, and they all speak wiv the usual criminal accents - except the sassy and educated accountant (Thandy Newton in top form), the Russian immigrant developer crim (good work from Dragan Micanovic) and gangland boyo, One Two (roguish Gerard Butler) who is Scottish.
Tom Wilkinson makes a welcome appearance as the well dressed, nicely housed but amoral Lenny Cole, who feels he owns the territory, and Toby Kebbell is effective and awful at the same time, as the drug-addled rock n'roller, Johnny Quaid, who likes to have people think he's dead and whose journey is symbolic of the rotten rising to the top in greedy London. Watch out for him in the sequel, The Real Rocknrolla, coming soon to a screen near you ....
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CAST: Gerard Butler, Gemma Arterton, Thandie Newton, Jeremy Piven, Jamie Campbell Bower, Ludacris, Jimi Mistry, Thandy Newton, Jeremy Piven, Tom Wilkinson
PRODUCER: Guy Ritchie, Steve Clark-Hall, Susan Downey, Joel Silver
DIRECTOR: Guy Ritchie
SCRIPT: Guy Ritchie
CINEMATOGRAPHER: David Higgs
EDITOR: James Herbert
MUSIC: Steve Isles
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Richard Bridgland
RUNNING TIME: 114 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 6, 2008