Starring: Jason Flemyng, Vinnie Jones, Jason Statham
Director: Guy Ritchie
Running Time: 107 mins
Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels is a British film about four friends who find themselves in trouble with a crime lord after a game of poker, resulting in a series of events where they fall further into the mad world of London gangs and rivalries.
This film, while being a thrilling story filled with great performances and a brilliant screenplay, is just a hell of a laugh. It’s got the feel of a gritty Scorsese gang movie, but it pulls off the comedy all too well here too, and that makes it just so entertaining to watch.
Let’s start with the brilliant story. Firstly, this film really establishes its characters well, and for a plot where there are upwards of 10 main characters, that’s a really important and fortunately successful achievement, because the distinct personalities that emerge over the course of the story, from start to finish, really help to make it a little less confusing.
The reason that this sort of plot would normally be considered quite confusing is because you’ve the convergence of three or four different groups into one storyline, over the gradual development of their own little episodes that conveniently interlink. However, because of the fantastic writing, it’s so easy to understand what’s going on in this film, never leaving you bored or frustrated with the mad story, allowing you to enjoy all the more.
What’s more is that the way that the story unfolds, whilst being gritty and thrilling all the way through, is so funny. This is in effect more of a comedy than a thriller, and everything that develops throughout is so ludicrously over-the-top, with all of the various different stories intersecting, but it is an absolute riot to watch at all times.
Plus, it’s not just the situations that are so hilarious here. There’s slapstick and farce from time to time, but what really hits home is the fantastic banter between characters that make for some hilarious jokes that really sit very well within the context of a British crime film, more so than any sort of buddy comedy.
Finally, the performances here are fantastic. There are countless main characters here, and the writing makes a huge difference to making them all stand out in their own ways, however what completely cements that is the platter of brilliant performances. From famed stars such as Vinnie Jones and Jason Statham, to others including Nick Moran, Jason Flemyng, Dexter Fletcher and a whole heap more, there’s so many great actors on display here who make their characters such a laugh to watch, but also give them a real feel and prevent them from becoming too cartoonish and unbelievable, so it’s a real success on that front too.
Overall, this gets an 8.7, because of its stunning writing and performances that allow it to create a brilliant blend of comedy and a gritty crime story that will thrill you as well as entertain you.