11.14.2010

Your Mind Will Not Accept This Movie.

REVOLVER (2005)
Image from beyondhollywood.com
What is it with me and British gangster films? Nonetheless, you can't talk about British gangsters and not mention Guy. Guy Ritchie delivers a tour de force with an intellectual gangster film that's definitely one of a kind. We have guns, sharp wit, and Jewish mysticism. Seriously. Only Guy Ritchie could pull this off. That said, if you are just dipping your toes into the glory that is Guy Ritchie, I would not recommend you start with this movie. Definitely start with his earlier stuff, Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch seem to be the general consensus for "Guy Ritchie classics". On the other hand, if you're as much of a Guy Ritchie junkie as I am, this should definitely be on your to-see list. 

I know I'm going on a limb with this statement since Revolver is one of the least widely accepted Guy movies, but it's one of my favorites. And I will tell you why. The pseudo intellectual mumbojumbo. Yes, I understand, this is a big turn off for most folks. When they want an action movie, they want an action movie. When they want a documentary on cons, chess, and Judaism, they want a documentary on cons, chess, and Judaism. The thing is, I always want action. So to me, it's more like a great motherfucking movie, with the added bonus of blowing my mind. No one complained when Memento pulled the old amnesia schtick. What's wrong with a macho movie that requires a bit of thoughts to understand it?
There's a reason chess games are cliché. Because they're awesome.
Alright. So maybe I'm not giving you adequate warning. I will say this: as much as I did love a good bit of mind fuck, it took me about three views to actually understand the plot. Since there, I've seen it more than a couple times, and I still trip up on bits and pieces. Even during the commentary, there are parts when Guy Ritchie pauses then goes, "To fully understand this movie, you have to know stuff that I can't talk about on this commentary because it would take too long to explain." But when you get over the religious hump, this comes down to a story about ego and humanity. I like to think of this as the "real" version of all Guy Ritchie's other movies. He strips away the cartoon remorseless killers and makes them turn around and come face to face with their own greed. It's sort of the Requiem For A Dream of gangster films.

BUT. If you hang up your brain and give yourself over to the brilliance that is Revolver, I don't think you'll be disappointed. The characters in this movie are positively badass. Jake Green, played by one of Ritchie's favorites Jason Statham, is a recently released con man. And he's made it his mission to get a little pay back and sink his nemesis, the rich and famous Macha (the fanfuckingtastic Ray Liotta), deep in debt. However, his plans get thwarted thanks to a rare blood disease and a couple of hard hitting loan sharks (Andre Benjamin--who'da thought he could act?--and Vincent Pastore).

Do not mess with a geek with a gun.
Jason Statham for one plays a refreshing character for him. Sure, he's a cold sonofabitch, but he's not that pure testosterone meathead of a man. Instead, he plays a character with a soul, a character who has to go through some extremely strenuous self evaluation. It's the best acting I've seen from Statham yet, I was legitimately impressed. Ray Liotta is also...well. He's Ray Liotta. He's extraordinarily badass. I've yet to see him in a role where he didn't blow me away. And this is no exception. Until I saw Goodfellas, I thought this was his best role. Now I realize it's his second best. But that's still saying a lot. His performance is chilling. But then again, there's nothing scarier than watching a top dog mobster crumble under his own towering ego. The best I saved for last. Jason Statham, awesome, Ray Liotta, awesome...but the one who really sold this movie for me was Mark Strong. Strong plays Sorter, a one of a kind OCD nerdy hit man. There...is very little I can say about Sorter. Except for the fact that he wears pants just short enough to show his socks, and yet he can still drill a hole in a wall, stick a gun with it, and kill anyone on the other end with a single shot. He's a BAMF. End of story. 

One last note on this movie. DO NOT watch the American version. The American version of most things are shit, but for this movie in particularly. I picked it up just to have the commentary and the movie itself literally makes no sense. They cut out major plot twists, save characters who have EPIC deaths, and lose the entire ending. Yeah. It's awful. If you have suffered the American version, I'm sorry. You can probably download the British version floating around somewhere online or just do the Amazon thing.

And so, all you Guy Ritchie fanatics, go out and check this one out. And shine on, you crazy diamonds.

3 comments:

  1. Didn't know the American Version lost so much! Will have to track down the U.K. cut. Mark Strong totally stole the movie by the way.

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  2. Dude, if you liked the American version, track down and check out the English version. They skip out on some huge plot points and destroy some epic character deaths. They're literally two different movies, it's ridiculous.

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  3. There's a chance you are eligible to receive a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

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