Revolver (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner21/09/2005

One out of Five stars
Running time: 115 mins

Pretentious, badly directed, frequently incomprehensible rubbish – this is a strong contender for the worst film of the year.

The Background
British director Guy Ritchie made a name for himself with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, before sullying that name with the straight-to-video abomination that was Swept Away. Now he’s back with yet another gangster flick, starring Ritchie regular Jason Statham. Unfortunately, Revolver is an unmitigated disaster and a strong contender for the worst film of the year.

The Story
Statham plays Jake Green, a gambler and conman who gets out of jail after a seven year stretch and vows revenge on oddly-named casino boss Dorothy Macha (Ray Liotta). After he humiliates Macha in a game of chance, he finds himself under threat from both Macha’s goons and an apparently fatal blood disease.

However, help is at hand in the enigmatic form of Vincent Pastore (Big Pussy from The Sopranos) and Andre Benjamin, who offer Green protection, on the condition that he does everything they say.

The Bad
There’s no point beating around the bush – Revolver is a complete and utter mess from start to finish. For one thing it's unbelievably pretentious. Lots of scenes have a Scorsese-like operatic score for accompaniment; to almost laughable effect. On top of that, there's an animated sequence that must have been thrown in because it looked cool in Kill Bill.

The Terrible
The film doesn't make a single bit of sense. It starts out like a fairly basic con trick/revenge film and then turns into an excruciatingly dreadful sub-Fight Club piece of crap. There's also way too much voiceover, sometimes droning on and on and on until you’re practically begging Statham to shut up.

The Good
Statham’s pretty dull in the lead role and he’s unconvincing in the crucial (supposedly explanatory) scenes towards the end, but Ray Liotta does his best with the incomprehensible script. The best actor in the film is Mark Strong as Sorter (one of Macha’s hit-men), but he isn’t in it nearly enough.

The Conclusion
In short, Revolver is an incomprehensible, badly directed mess. It’s like Ritchie decided to cheat in a film-making test by copying Scorsese, Tarantino and Fincher and thought no-one would notice. The rumours are that producer Matthew Vaughan was the real talent behind Lock, Stock and, on the basis of Revolver and the directorial brilliance of Layer Cake, it’s not hard to believe them. Avoid like your life depended on it.

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Content updated: 11/12/2017 17:17

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