The Red Right Hand
  www.theredrighthand.co.uk





REVOLVER
You Can Only Get Smarter By Playing A Smarter Opponent

Director
Guy Ritchie
Starring
Jason Statham
Ray Liotta
Andre Benjamin
Vincent Pastore

Ladies and gentlemen we have stumbled across a little problem here. Unfortunately for Mr. Ritchie his latest film has been less than greatly accepted. Single-minded film hogs who liked Lock Stock or Snatch were expecting more of the same thing and are as such more than disappointed with his latest offering (most public votes totalling to no more than 1-2/5). This could be partly due to the marketing, the poster (the above one has been designed for the official US release in January 2006) is loaded with guns, as is the trailer - there aren't that many. When Matthew Vaughn left Ritchie's little enterprise in search of his own director's chair he made Layer Cake (a true gem, if you haven't seen it, watch it). With the surprise that Vaughn could handle himself the public then turned their attention to Ritchie who was returning back to the crime scene - partially thanks to his bloody awful Swept Away with Madonna. Seeing as he probably didn't want to get typecast, he attempted to segue into a new genre of gangster flick, a clever, more psychologically driven one.

So Guy Ritchie sat down and tried to grow a brain. He must have been at this while without any luck, maybe watching Layer Cake a couple of times for ideas. Troubled, Guy picked up a copy of The Analects and then wondered to himself, 'How can I make this into a film? People will see how smart I am!' Indeed it is a very clever and intelligent film. Ridiculously so. It's so intelligent that you get completely lost. The audience won't know what hit them. Meshed into an oddly moulded mix of breathtaking sets, jaw dropping action and intricate plot details, Revolver likes to think it's a true work of art and to an extent it is. Have you ever read a really profound book? Possibly something by Umberto Eco? Did you have to go back a few times and read one particular sentence once or twice just to actually grasp the meaning? That's how this film works. Many tight little neat phrases that work well for the story, the problem is there are so many, they're not clearly explained and you have no chance to pause, rewind and reinterpret - which is a pity because it really is quite a good film. It's a case of fall behind, get left behind. Imagine two hours of the Architect Scene in The Matrix: Reloaded - another moment of confusion but you follow because it's one concept reiterated over and over.

Enough of that, on to the more impressive elements. As I said the film's sets are absolutely gorgeous, everything gleaming, shinning, colourful and beautiful. The film is lit and shot in such a way that you really start to see that Ritchie has a true understanding of how to make a movie that is truly pulchritudinous. This film comprises many techniques; firstly it's been separated into chapters, headed by famous quotes (all of which were listed at the beginning of the film), a section of animation incorporated into a heist sequence, internal/schizophrenic segments, revealing flashbacks, implications, twists and riveting shaky-cam driven action scenes, small things like this are examples of Ritchie's excellence and potential.. Now all he has to do is get someone else to write his scripts and he will be set. Smart script, beautiful cinematography, good cast - these are key stones to any great movie. Which leads me neatly to the lead roles. Four characters of interest: Green [Statham], Macha [Liotta], Avi [Benjamin] & Zach [Pastore]. Jake Green is a con man who was sent to jail after being pinned from a crime he wasn't responsible for, keeping quiet for Macha. When he got out he found his sister-in-law dead and all his possessions gone. Green proceeds to pay a visit to Macha intent on relieving him of all his money. Trouble strikes when he's diagnosed with a rare blood disease. Under the impression that death is nearby he reluctantly agrees to receive protection from two suspicious gangsters (Avi & Zach).

It's a little difficult because the plot is so incredibly deep and detailed that if I start off on the storyline's path I would have to explain the whole thing to you. If you do happen to watch this film and don't understand, feel free to e-mail me and I shall gladly explain - this will probably flood my inbox but that's fine. I don't mind if it aids this film as I believe it's a genuinely good addition to Ritchie's CV. In conclusion this film is superbly acted (a little hammy at times), intricate and sagacious in its delivery and a marvel to behold. I think this one will get beaten about and is going to be extremely over-looked and under rated but hopefully Ritchie's next offering will be an absolute stunner. We can but hope.

Release Date:
22nd September 2005

The Scene To Look Out For:
Green is stuck in a lift and starts to go quite insane, confronting his inner demons in this almost Fight Club styled scene. Powerful stuff that lays rest to any doubt to Statham in a lead role. Brilliantly shot, brilliantly acted, brilliantly set and lit, simply brilliant.

Notable Characters:
I would like to say Statham but I can't. The true diamond in the rough is Sorter [Mark Strong], the stuttering hitman with a conscience. Like in Nikita when Jean Reno's character (Victor) went around killing people, you said to yourself, 'Wow! That guy should have his own movie' (cue Leon) and so should this guy. He was glorious!

Highlighted Quote:
"I'm stuck in a trance, somewhere between hell and a hard place, in a gear that doesn't exist and all I want now is a little peace"

In A Few Words:
This one won't go down well but in time it may receive the credit it truly deserves

Total Score:
7/10


Matthew Stogdon