Revolver

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Revolver
Review (5.5/10)
(By Brendan Cullin)


Ever since taking the movie world by storm with the truly innovative and highly entertaining Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and following it up with the equally, if not more entertaining Snatch, director Guy Ritchie has left his fans frothing at the mouth for a follow-up movie to these two dynamic and energetic hits. The movie world wanted Ritchie castrated following his box office disaster Swept Away, which starred his wife, Madonna. I am sure the majority of these people didn't even see Swept Away but instead, just took the word of the pretentious movie critics who wrote about it. I mean really, the movie starred Madonna - it was doomed before it even hit theatres. I really didn't think it was all that bad, certainly not to the point of castration. Perhaps just a swift kick in the balls for Mr. Ritchie would have sufficed.

Nevertheless, it was with great anticipation that I awaited Ritchie's latest work, Revolver. If it was the only movie I saw at the Toronto International Film Festival, I would have been satisfied. It seemed like, with Revolver, Ritchie was going back to his origins, his humble beginnings.

As most of the movie-going world must know by now, Revolver is simply getting pounded. In fact, it was more than two months ago that I read the first comments by someone who managed to catch a sneak preview and he claimed Revolver stunk. Considered the fucker also gave poor grades to Lock, Stock and Snatch, I really didn't take his word too seriously. Unfortunately, after leaving Toronto's gala screening of Revolver, I am disappointed to report that I left the theatre hurt, confused, teary-eyed and with a bad cramp in my leg. I wanted answers to questions that no one knew. I wanted explanations. And most importantly, I wanted to find Mr. Ritchie and beg him to leave Madonna, that it was not too late.

Revolver is the story of a con-artist named Jake Green (Jason Statham) who, with the help of two cellmates, has sharpened his mind and refined his conning ways and is now a free man making a lot of money using his newfound talents. He manages to win a lot of money off a casino owner and arch-nemesis named Macha (Ray Liotta) but soon finds himself at the mercy of two swindlers named Avi (Andre 3000) and Zach (Vincent Pastore). Things only get worse for Jake once he gets involved with Avi and Zach and he is now tangled in a confusing web of drugs, money, murder, revenge and deceit.

The first thing I will say about Revolver is that I really don't think it is the total piece of shit that many people are claiming it to be. In fact, three quarters of the movie is pretty damn good and reflects many Guy Ritchie trademarks - a good pace, interesting story, witty banter, strong cast, a few twists and turns and some wonderfully violent action. Hell, there is even an animated sequence that, despite feeling a tad out of place, is entertaining nonetheless.

It's the final act of Revolver where the movie takes a turn for the worse. It answers a few nagging questions with answers that are unsatisfying, to say the least. I'm still not sure I understand the whole "Mr. Gold" angle of the movie and at this point, I'm not even sure if I care. But it's the whole psychedelic mind-fuck turn that Revolver takes that really turned me off. It sort of begins with a scene in an elevator with Jake Green that just seems to go on forever and ends with Liotta's Macha flipping his lid. Once Revolver ends, we are left wondering what the hell we just saw and what the hell just happened.

I'm not too sure what else to say about Revolver. I really felt like I was seeing a decent flick but was waiting and waiting for the payoff and it never happened. It also seems as if Ritchie and the cast and crew decided to drop some acid before writing and filming the last half hour. I'm sure in some cases this strategy works but in the case of Revolver, it failed miserably.

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