Let me just go on record by saying that I love early Guy Ritchie. Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch are two of my all-time favorite movies - smart, clever, funny, fast, hella-entertaining and excellently soundtracked. Love-love-love.
I think Madonna* ruined Guy Ritchie.
RocknRolla is a friggin' disaster. Here's the plot, as best I can: the Wild Bunch (One-Two/Gerard Butler; Mumbles/Idris Elba; and Handsome Bob/Tom Hardy) borrows some money from gangster Lenny (Tom Wilkinson). Lenny is taking big money from some shady Russians to smooth the paperwork for a real estate project. The Russians try twice to pay off Lenny but each time the cash is stolen by the Russians' accountant, sexy Stella (Thandie Newton) who has hired the Wild Bunch to do the actual robbing. Meanwhile, as a show of good faith, the Russian boss lends his favorite lucky painting - apparently a striking work of art that the audience never gets to see - to Lenny, whose junkie rockstar stepson, Johnny, steals. (BTW: I really wanted to feed Johnny a sandwich - scary skinny.) After the second pay off theft, a couple of scary nigh-unkillable Russian thugs go after the Wild Bunch. Of course, this being a Guy Ritchie film, everything gets wrapped up, only sort of: the unkillable Russians get killed, as does Lenny (death by crawfish); the junkie rockstar gets straight; and, god help us, it ends with "Johnny [...] and the Wild Bunch will return in The Real RocknRolla." *shudder*
I'm sure that a one paragraph synopsis of LSaTSB and Snatch would yield similarly sketchy results, but I promise you that RocknRolla is by no means on a par with those two movies. It's S L O W for one thing - I was actually bored. Bored! At minute 57 I actually said out loud (to myself because Mr. Mouse had already gone to bed): "I miss the old Guy Ritchie." There's no catchy soundtrack either, so the music didn't even hold my interest. And Tom Wilkinson was utterly unconvincing as a Big Bad.
Two good things about this flick: Gerard Butler uses his yummy real accent; and One-Two and Stella dance like total spazzes - it's like they're channeling Elaine Benes.
* Also for the record, I have been a Madonna fan - up until the whole "I have a British accent and will save the world by adopting it all" thing - so it's not like I'm a big hater or anything.
4 hours ago