LOCK, STOCK, AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS

4 Stars
Year Released: 1999
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 108 minutes
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As the wave of Tarantino-style films have ebbed, a new wave of insipid teen films have risen to take its place. Thankfully, the Brits have given us a break from the prom queens with a big helping of violence and some of the meanest, ugliest limey bastards to cross our shores since Black Sabbath came to town. Among a massive cast, we have four heroes, friends forever. Eddy (Nick Moran) is the nominal leader, and an excellent gambler, just like his father, J.D. (Sting). Tom (Jason Flemyng) sells stolen merchandise, while Bacon (Jason Statham) peddles more on the street. Soap (Dexter Fletcher), a chef, is the only one with a real job.
Eddy schemes for a big win in a high stakes card game with Hatchet Harry (P.H. Moriarty), so he gathers the groups savings, £100,000 ($260,000).
Unfortunately, Harry has a grudge against J.D. and rigs the game. Not only does Eddy lose all the money, he owes Harry £500,000, with one week to pay. If he doesn’t pay, Eddy and his friends are pretty much dead.
In over their heads? The boys are just getting started. Eddy’s next door neighbors are a gang of thugs led by Dog (Frank Harper) about to make a big score robbing some drug dealers. Our heroes are going to rob them on their return using a pair of antique shotguns with some serious history. Then the fun really begins.
Lock is filled with great writing, great acting, colorful characters, and a tight story. I actually like this film more than “Pulp Fiction”. Writer/director Guy Ritchie has slammed one out of the park with a film that should have all the impact of “Trainspotting”. He juggles the boys with two seperate sets of gangsters and another two gangs of armed thieves (not a female in sight), letting nothing hit the floor. I expect to see this cast dispersed across the Hollywood release schedule over the next year. Sadly, one of the best performers, Lenny McLean, died before the film’s release. Formerly Britian’s bare-knuckle boxing champion, he plays Harry’s enforcer, Barry the Baptist (so named for a fondness for drowning people). Luckily, Vinnie Jones, English soccer star and notorious disciplinary problem, who plays Harry’s debt collector, Big Chris, is going strong.
The only thing that disappointed me was that it ended. I was ready for another couple of hours. I was entertained. What more can you ask from a film?



Posted on March 8, 1999 in Reviews by
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