Film Flame


Brit filmmaker Guy Ritchie's debut film premiering at Sundance has got more than a couple of obvious things going for it:  an Elmore Leonard plot involving guns, drugs and money;  a cast of charming rogues finding their way around the minute hand of a clock face until they meet again in a -- Surprise! -- Mexican standoff,  and a payoff that literally teeters on the edge of a precipice not unlike the thrilling conclusion brought into cinematic vogue with Charlie Chaplin, adopted for the caper film in the Michael Caine/Noel Coward starrer, The Italian Job.  

Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels is a good bit of fun.  Did I forget to mention "slick as a long-form MTV video?"  While Pulp Fiction inspired that style for a generation of American filmmaking, Trainspotting did the same for newcomer filmmaker Guy Ritchie. The rich photography is great, and even the old gag of subtitling East End British slang works pleasantly.  The thematic music employed to punctuate scenes (like The Stooges "I Wanna Be Your Dog" coming up after someone is set-up and ruined in a poker game) is Scorsese-like in efficacy.  

Already a huge box office hit in the UK, will Lock, Stock become another Trainspotting in America?  All depends on the marketing, and Gramercy Pictures not screwing up the sales game with the best Pulp Fiction knock-off ever made... 

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