If you have previously suffered through some of Guy Ritchie’s films, then you are privy to the joke that he was a pioneering GCSE student of film studies in the U.K. The film Swept Away was a disaster, but fans gave themselves hope, thinking from here on, the thing would get better. The film, starring Madonna, was 18th century, but hey, the lowest Guy Ritchie would go in terms of creativity, we hoped.
Ritchie and Madonna’s distinction was answered by the Revolver (2005), one of Ritchie’s ill-conceived films in recent history. The film finally reached the U.S after several years of flopping in the U.K film industry. As usual, it’s a typical hybrid of the director’s usual Cockney banter.
The director did admit that this film is either a poor sales job or a clever bit of well-managed expectations. The film is a story about Jake (played by Jason Statham), a gambler and con just out of prison. What got him to jail in the first place is a bit unclear, thanks to the cut the film sustained due to its poor performance. Anyway, he is out and has a few scores to settle, especially with gang boss Dorothy Macha (played by Ray Liotta).
He avails himself of Macha’s casino to humiliate him by taking his money. Then the story unfolds. Macha sends a hit squad after Green, but thanks to loan sharks Zach (Vincent Pastore) and Avi (Andre Benjamin), he is unharmed. Of course, the two have other things on their minds.
Then we get to see some of the typical Ritchie scenes of violence – sporadic gunfire, some Green Voiceovers, and a few tough-guy banter repeated throughout the film. And with time, it hits that as usual, Ritchie has something very important to put across, which, unfortunately, he does.
And before you think about sitting down on a Friday to enjoy this film with friends, there’s something you should know. Green’s voiceover escalates to bouts of schizophrenia. That’s when he goes full-blown into bickering mode with his demons. The key takeaway? Well, his enemy isn’t the guy outside the elevator loaded with guns ready to fire on sight, but his ego.
The plot in this film is somewhat muddled up. It’s like Ritchie’s core goal was to confuse. It’s accurate to state that Ritchie’s list of misdemeanors includes abuse of flashback, too much voiceover, and improper use of the crucifixion imagery. It not clear where his ideas, plus the film, would benefit from a few laughs from the good Lord Himself, but sadly the director trades on six form and narrative obstruction.
The director himself once admitted that the film needs to be re-watched several to catch the plot. I don’t know about re-watching the same thing many times to get a glimpse of the plot. Plus, I can’t think of anything that would keep you away from the cinema like this film.