Plot: What’s it about?
When two organized crime magnates forge a real estate scam of epic proportions, no one is sure what will happen and who will end up on the better end. Lenny Cole (Tom Wilkinson) is London’s most notorious crime boss, but he faces some competition from a Russian presence, Uri (Karel Roden). The two sides have worked out a project however, one which involves a large cash shipment and of course, that kind of money pulls all kinds of thugs out of the woodwork. One Two (Gerard Butler) is the leader of a small time band of hoods, but he sees a chance to seize some power when he learns the inside details of the cash shipment. The heist goes off without a hitch, with One Two’s crew pinching millions of euros in the process. But will the wronged parties just take the loss, or will One Two have more problems than he ever imagined?
I missed RocknRolla in theaters, but I heard some positive buzz and that this was Guy Ritchie’s return to form. I was never a huge fan of his films, but I wanted to give RocknRolla a chance. I wouldn’t call this a return to form, as it isn’t even close to his early work, but it is a step in the right direction. A small step, but even so, still a step. Ritchie goes back to the well to what he seems to do best, overly busy criminal type mayhem. I appreciate a good ensemble and RocknRolla has a solid cast, but the writing is scattershot and doesn’t make the most of the players. Tom Wilkinson is quite good, but everyone seems rushed on and off screen and like I said, this is just too busy at times. A little more focus could have yielded some great results, but Ritchie instead tosses as much on screen as he can, which clogs up the pipes in some scenes. This is not a good movie, but it has its moments and for fans of Ritchie’s work, this is worth a rental.
Video: How does it look?
RocknRolla is presented in 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen. This film has a unique visual design, so don’t be put off when the visuals have odd tints and the image isn’t film-like. This was shot on HD cameras, with an intentional sepia/brownish hue that can be a little hard on the eyes at times. But this is how the filmmakers wanted RocknRolla to look, so the colors are well replicated in this presentation. The image doesn’t sparkle with detail, thanks to a high sheen presence that is clean, but not always razor sharp. So depth isn’t going to dazzle, to be sure. In the end, this is a tough cookie to score, but based on the filmmakers’ intent, this seems to be a solid effort.
Audio: How does it sound?
This Dolby TrueHD 5.1 option is good, with solid presence and no real flaws to report. The film is mostly dialogue driven, with a smattering of action scenes. This means most of the soundtrack is rather laid back, but it still sounds fine. The surrounds don’t have a lot to do between action scenes, but in those instances, the presence is great. So not much else in the surrounds for the most part, but the action sequences are well handled and the music has a lot of life. Dialogue is crystal clear however, so no concerns there. This release also includes a Dolby Digital 5.1 option, French, Spanish, and Portuguese language tracks, and subtitles in English, French, Spanish, Dutch, and Portuguese.
Supplements: What are the extras?
If you like dull commentaries, then you’ll love this one from Ritchie and star Mark Strong. This is as bland as these sessions come, uninspired discussion that has no substance. This being Ritchie’s return to his most familiar territory, I expected more than this lame duck session. This release also includes a couple of promotional featurettes, a deleted scene, and a second disc with a digital copy of the film, to use on the portable device of your choice.