This way-too-Hollywood spectacle is very loosely based on the legends of King Arthur. The creators made a story in which the “mages” are in war with humans resulting in a CGI-explosion in the opening scenes. This makes a thin bridge towards Arthur who is a commoner raised in a brothel.
The bad guy in the story is Vortigern (a very nice part of Jude Law) who tries to dominate the world. There is an alternative take on how the sword got stuck in the stone and of course Arthur is the one to get it out in order to thwart Vortigern’s plans.
Like I said, way-too-Hollywood with obligatory and unsuccessful drama, tons of over-the-top action, made-up elements and a fairly thin story.
The film may not be boring, but it has little to do with the Arthurian legends and all the extra elements did not really make an interesting story either.
Ah yes there was this period in which all kinds of hip crime comedies were made with difficult stories. Of course Guy Ritchie contributed to the genre with films such as “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch“.
In “Revolver” Ritchie looked up the extremes of the genre. There are the witty dialogues, a film that is monologued by the main character and a story that gets more and more complex. There is not just the continuing question of ‘who is Keyser Söze‘, but Ritchie added a split personality of a man discussing with himself worked out with pretty much over-the-top montage which gets annoying towards the end.
“Over-the-top” is actually a description goes for the film as a whole. It is not a boring watch, but the director overdid himself trying to make a hip and complex crime story.
I do not believe I know the original, but Guy Ritchie appears to have attempted to make a mix between old and new. The original film is from 1964. The present title seems to play around that time when there was still a wall in Berlin and when Americans still argued with Russia.
The film begins with a very hip chasing scene in which the main characters meet. We have the American CIA agent Solo and his Russian counterpart Illya. Solo is a bit of a James Bond type character with English manners, good taste and an eye for women. Illya is the more funny character because the Russian has to try to work ‘the American’ rather than ‘the Russian way’.
There is not too much of a story. A bit of a James Bond like story with a bad guy, or actually a bad girl, with big plans that have to be prevented by the leading characters. This is brought with subtle humour, witty one-liners and amusing action. However the result is amusing, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” does not raise the level of mere amusement. Therefor it is a film to see when you feel like watching something light.
Like I said, I do not think I know the original film, but since only in the very last scene the title is mentioned, Ritchie’s film could be meant as some sort of prequel.
I usually avoid these overly popular films, but since the choice in the airplane was not super, I watched this first film of Sherlock Holmes. There is another one available, perhaps I will watch it on the flight back. “Sherlock Holmes” is actually quite an enjoyable film. A nice, Victorian atmosphere, a bit sleezy and dark, great stages and special effects. The story is adopted to enjoy the contemporary audience and some strange elements such as fighting scenes and adventure making the whole look a bit like Indiana Jones are added. What I found quite irritating is that the director apparently hid a lot of clues in his film, which are all explained towards the end, apparently to give the film a somewhat intelligent content. In any case, Holmes and his assistent Watson fight evil in the form of a man and in doing so dabble with magic and science, wreck things, make jokes and a spectacle, everything for a modern Hollywood production. Not boring, certainly not, but not really my kind of film either.
Apparently I have not seen half of the films of Guy Ritchie, but I do know that “RocknRolla” is of the same breed as “Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch”: a flashy crime comedy. “RocknRolla” is very typical for this kind of film. A maffioso-like rapid montaged intro, hip small crooks unknowingly dealing with the big guys, action and a lot of humour. There is nothing new about “RocknRolla”, even the story is almost the same as of “Lock Stock…”. Fortunately Ritchie has mixed the standard ingredients well and “RocknRolla” became an entertaining film.
This is the third film of Guy Ritchie and comes some time after the nice, but not as funny “Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels”. A great crime-comedy with a magnificent role of Brad Pitt as boxing gipsie (“pikey”). Two maffioso involved in illegal boxing-games want to buy a caravan from gipsie Pitt who sells them a wreck that doesn’t even survive the trip out of the gipsie camp. Boxer Bullet Tooth and Pitt will make things up in a fight and the small Pitt knocks-out Bullet Tooth with just one hit. BT was supposed to have a fight in the next night and eventually they pursuade Mickey (Pitt) to replace him. However Mickey is supposed to go down in round four, he knocks-out his opponent with one blow, which meant a lot of problems for some high-ranked criminals.
Of course there is more about the movie and these few lines are just the first part, but I suggest that you just go and see this movie yourself. It is pretty violent at times and especially… funny. Tarantino humour, strange dialogues and an unintelligible Pitt make “Snatch” an instant classic.
It is said that the film “Sexy Beast” (the debut of Jonathan Glazer with Ben Kingsley as main character) is equally brilliant and in the same style (crime-comedy). We Europeans are set for 11 October for that one, I don’t know about the USA). (reviewed 18/11/01)
I just saw the film again after too many years. “Snatch” DID become the instant classic that I mentioned. It was (one of the) first crime-comedies with ‘nouvelle violence’ humour and cut-up stories that are still popular, but “Snatch” has certainly stood the course of time. (jan 09)