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Movie Review by Ania Kalinowska

Starring: Jason Statham, Ray Liotta, Vincent Pastore, Andre Benjamin

Director: Guy Ritchie

Minutes before REVOLVER hit the screen in front of me, I sat in expectant silence, curious but weary of what Guy Ritchie’s latest work would achieve. It’s been three years since the SWEPT AWAY disaster reached disgracing proportions and word about town is Ritchie has now opted for what he knows best – crime. Will REVOLVER restore the failing director to his former glory or will it shoot a bullet straight through his creative genius?

Conman gambler extraordinaire Jake Green (Jason Statham with overgrown facial hair) has rotted away in jail by taking the blame for Dorothy Macha’s (Ray Liotta in Speedos!) nasty work. After 7 years in solitary confinement and an unexpected education, Jake finds himself a free bloke again. And now it’s payback time. Or is it? This film is not so simple.

Although very prominent, gangster fights and spraying bullets are not what this is all about. The violence, cleverly handled, is really only the backdrop. REVOLVER aims deep into the human state and spins there for the majority of the movie.

There is great ambiance in distinct Ritchie style, which has acquired some decent fresh elements amongst those that are slightly less desirable. Whether you like it or not, you have to admit that this aspect is always unique and intriguing to watch. Although you get the feeling that some parts are a little recycled, there is a new existential, philosophical kind of vibe going on here. The good news is that the characters play well with it and show thumbs-up depth and dedication.

The bad news? These factors make a masterpiece not! At this point, Ritchie should have consulted someone who could teach him a lesson well worth remembering – the golden rule of amounts: less is often more.

By leaning so far away from simplicity, a convoluted, over-zealous fiasco has resulted. As though struggling to make up for lost time, too much has been packed into a single movie. The story and all its points could have been presented without quite so much enthusiasm and, more importantly, in a far shorter, less dragged-out method. Less lengthy sequences, less repetition, less duration time! Even the twists start spinning around like a never-ending rollercoaster. There is no denying that these factors suffocate the film’s ingenuity, and eventually kill off any commendable aspects.

Everyone has experienced ‘sighing’ when watching a film. The deep inhalation and exhalation of breath go well to show a collective audience opinion. I attribute the sighing during REVOLVER to the ultimate lost plot. The audience doesn’t lose the plot; the plot loses the audience – mainly due to the faults listed above.

I reckon Guy Ritchie might have simply tried too hard this time round. Whether it was to apologise for Sweeping Us Away or a desperate attempt for digging deeper, he went overboard and took us with him.

If you are a Ritchie fan, wait to rent it out on DVD. If you are not, get SNATCH or LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS instead. It is in those movies that you will truly see a master at work.

3 out of 6 stars