Sunday, March 12, 2006

REVOLVER - You are not as clever as you think you are, Guy.

You know what? REVOLVER really is not an execrable pile of cinematic wank. I regularly see movies that are far less interesting, well-made and compelling. To name but a few, REVOLVER is significantly better than Rumour Has It. Things that we think are good? As with all Guy Ritchie movies, REVOLVER benefits from a wonderful display of visual style, some decent Tarantino-goes-cockney one-liners, and some cool editing. I am always happy to hear the phrase "Jog On" in any high-budget flick. Notably, a lot of scenes get spliced, and messed up in terms of the time-line. A lot of critics have complained that this makes the movie impossble to follow. Not so, the movie is perfectly comprehesible. The problem is that the BIG IDEA that Ritchie thinks is frickin' clever and radical is actually fairly banal and, for any cineaste worth their salt, possible to crack in around the first fifteen minutes of the flick. Basically, the movie features Jason Statham as Mister Green, a sometime cardster who has spent seven years in solitary. He emerges with the perfect gambling strategy courtesy of the chess master and arch conman in the adjacent cells, and proceeds to take on his enemy, Macha, played by Ray Liotta. Meanwhile he is befriended by a couple of zen-like loan sharks, who help him face up to Liotta's mafiosi, a bunch of random Yakuza and the mysterious "Mr Gold." Stuff happens. There is, it turns out, a point to Statham's incessant and alarmingly Frank Butcher-like internal monologue. However, the cinema-goer does not reach a state of enlightenment at the end of the movie. Ritchie clearly think he is laying The Knowledge on us, but frankly, his visual and narrative metaphors are way too obvious as is his blatant ripping off of the infinitely better flicks, Fight Club and The Usual Suspects. Lars von Trier made a film called The Idiots, to which the tag-line was, "you are not as clever as you think you are." Sobering thought, and one that Guy Ritchie should contemplate.

REVOLVER premiered at Toronto 2005 and went on release in the UK and France in September 2005. It is now available on DVD.

1 comment:

  1. "you are not as clever as you think you are."

    Wow. So I'm even smarter than that? Sheez. That's almost unbelievable.