Revolver

Film, Drama
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Time Out says

Oh dear. The press-notes for Guy Ritchie’s long-awaited follow-up to the never-released fiasco that was ‘Swept Away’ (UK box office: nul points!) helpfully explain that Ritchie was ‘the first student in the UK to get a GCSE in film studies’. I’ll leave you to invent a suitable punchline to that particular joke and cut straight to the chase: ‘Revolver’ is a humourless, leaden and incoherent car-crash of a movie. Worst of all, it’s a car-crash with a disturbing sense of its own self-importance. Guy Ritchie as artist-philosopher? I don’t think so, matey.Here, Ritchie revisits the gangster milieu of ‘Lock, Stock…’ and ‘Snatch’ but ditches the easy-going cartoon-drama of those earlier films in favour of what he clearly considers to be higher art. Why else employ ponderous choral and piano music, a fractured and indecipherable narrative, countless unsuccessful aphorisms and pretentious flash-quotes from the likes of Julius Caesar and Machiavelli to tell the simple story of Jack Green (Jason Statham), an inscrutable villain who steps out of jail and is straightaway caught up in a complex stand-off with perma-tanned casino boss Dorothy Macha (Ray Liotta)? The behaviour of Green’s Mephistophelean sidekicks Zach (Vincent Pastore) and Avi (André Benjamin) further complicate the drama. To be honest, I barely understood the plot; Ritchie’s core method is to confuse.The roll-call of Ritchie’s crimes is extensive: disorientating use of flashback; overuse of voiceover; cheap use of crucifixion imagery… Where are the laughs (by God, it needs them)? Where are the ideas? Ritchie trades here on narrative obstruction and sixth-form clever-cleverness (chess is a recurring theme). During a Q&A session at the Toronto Film Festival last week, Ritchie told an audience who had just watched the film that it was probably worth viewing a few times to understand it properly. I can’t think of a pastime more likely to turn you off cinema for good.

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Details

Release details

Rated:
15
Release date:
Thursday September 22 2005
Duration:
115 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Guy Ritchie
Screenwriter:
Guy Ritchie
Cast:
Jason Statham
André Benjamin
Ray Liotta
Vincent Pastore