Film: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
Cast includes: Jason Fleming (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Dexter Fletcher (Mansfield Park TV), Nick Moran (New Blood), Jason Stathman (Cellular), Steven Mackintosh (The Other Boleyn Girl), Vinnie Jones (Snatch), Sting
Screenplay/direction: Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes 2009)
Genre: Irreverent, action comedy, crime thriller 1998
In brief: Eddie, Tom, Soap, and Bacon aren’t really such a bad lot. All they need is to get into one of Hatchet Harry’s high-stakes poker games. Their secret weapon is Eddie’s unfailing ability to read faces. Now that they’ve managed to come up with the price of admission… ₤100,000, things are looking up. But first we need to meet a few other characters… there’re the cannabis growers, plus the gang that’s planning to heist the new crop. Then there’s Hatchet Harry’s entourage of hit men, fixers and assorted criminals. Harry, by the way, has a passion for old stuff… including these two antique firearms that are coming up for auction soon. But why pay for anything you can easily steal? Nick the Greek’s going to hire the rifle heist. Harry doesn’t want to know who’s on the job… "as long as they’re not the fuckin’ Muppets".
Back to Eddie and his foolproof ability to win poker games… well… the game doesn’t go quite as expected. The upshot is that Eddie, Tom, Soap and Bacon now have 5 days to come up with ₤500,000, or they start losing fingers one at a time. Things look bleak until Eddie overhears a conversation about a cannabis heist. All they need to do is wait until the job is done and steal the cannabis from the thieves. Piece of cake! Just for good measure, Tom now decides to get some firearms. And by a twist of fate, the firearms he buys for 700 quid are none other than the ones the Muppets have just stolen for Harry but think are worthless. At this point their piece-of-cake plan starts looking more like a "bad day in Bosnia.”
Many films have borrowed liberally from this classic. Many have been done with better production values… including Guy Ritchie’s Snatch. Everything about Lock, Stock is extreme… extreme violence (rather cartoon-like), extreme language (with extreme British accents), extreme cheekiness, extreme wackiness, extreme chaos and more. If it’s not your kind of film, you’ll absolutely hate it. If you see humor in adventures like this, Lock, Stock is a fun ride.
3 popped kernels
Fun dark story, great script, great use of language (in spite of liberal use of the "f" word), fun production... you have to pay attention.