Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels
Given the massive international success of Trainspotting, it's easy to imagine a torrent of British movies following in its depraved footsteps. Strangely enough, the U.K. never gave in to its own Tarantino Imitation Factor, and the films that succeeded Trainspotting mostly took sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll seriously. Not so with Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, a lucrative sensation overseas that has arrived on these shores in the wake of considerable fanfare. LSATSB owes a debt to the hyperactive, violent hipness of Trainspotting, but there's more to it than that: The film also exudes the soulful cool of Out Of Sight, the wacky, faddish facade of A Hard Day's Night, and the goofy camaraderie of The Young Ones, all within a complex but fluid framework of interlocking plots and carefully orchestrated coincidences. Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels' many plots, subplots, and sub-subplots are so interwoven that to adequately describe the movie is to give it all away. That said, it's a hilarious, highly entertaining heist romp that brings together cutthroat cardshark pornographers, naive drug dealers, ruthless (yet paternal) heavies, vindictive Samoan gangsters, a pair of antique shotguns, and a quartet of likable yet devious young blokes looking for a way to get rich quick. First-time writer-director Guy Ritchie, who cut his teeth on music videos, has style to spare, but also the substance to back up his trippy camera work and devilishly perverse shootouts. The acting, mostly by a bunch of unknowns, is equally fresh and funny, and Ritchie keeps the movie moving faster than you can say, "bludgeoned to death by a 15-inch black rubber dildo."