"Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," Guy Ritchie, Film Review
Lock, Stock was a tough film to score. The first time I watched it I chickened out of scoring it so now I've had to watch it again. It's undeniably entertaining, a lot of effort has gone into it, it has memorable characters, and it's occasionally funny. An 8/10 generally means that I would definitely want to watch it again. I'm not sure that's true here – so the top mark it could get would be 7/10. But then it's got some really awful dialogue, which takes it down to say a 5/10 and it has Sting playing a bar owner, which loses it another mark to give 4/10. So… it seems a little harsh, 4/10, but I'm struggling to give it any more. Perhaps if you hate Sting less than I do, you'd give it a 5/10.
WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS
Lock, Stock has not one, not two or three, but four likeable everyman leads. Their grim charm is a big part of the film's success. And then there are a bunch of villains, who all have their memorable traits. The two non-actors, Sting and Vinnie Jones have clearly been heavily directed, with lighting and camera angles standing in for their (excusable) total lack of acting ability.
Review continues below...
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It’s all quite nicely stitched together. For example, we see Nick the Greek being given a horrible novelty phone at the beginning, and towards the end there he is, using it, complete with its novelty ringtone.
The pathetic posh boys running the drug growing enterprise provide quite a few laughs. 'What are you doing?' says the local geezer who's betrayed them – as one of the lads faints with fear in his arms.
There are hardly any women in the film. It's very much a blokey enterprise. I suppose it's better than having a few dolly-birds thrown in, which is what the many rip-offs of Lock, Stock generally do.
Personal Score: 4/10
This is part of a series of film reviews where I give my comments on IMDB Top 250 films as a writer. The idea is that over time these posts will build into a wide-ranging writing resource.
For more details about the approach I've taken, including some important points about its strengths and weaknesses (I make no claims about my abilities as a film critic or even the accuracy of my comments... but I do stand by the value of a writer's notes on interesting films), see my introductory post here.