#137: Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

When and how did I watch this?

May 16th, 2016, on Amazon Instant Video.

Had I seen this film already?


What did I know about the movie before watching it?

I’d heard of the movie while in high school, but I wasn’t really interested in this style. The title itself screams dumb Brit flick, and I was prepared for another Big Lebowski.

What do I know about it now?

What a spectacular film.  What I enjoyed most was how there is no “super character”  — the genre typically warrants near-immortal players in the plot, and this one ironically features action star Jason Statham, the British version of Bruce Willis. Everyone is flawed, and this aspect drives the plot forward, turning regular folks into heroes and killing machines into complete duds. The story is tight and fast-moving, avoiding numerous cliches while fooling around with plot devices that usually throw a comedy/action flick into the kiddie pool of shallowness and immaturity. The cinematography is perfect; a color reducing filter is used throughout, producing a film noir feel that contrasts the humorous attributes. I confess that I had to turn on my captions to wade through the thick cockney accents and terminology.

What are some themes in the film?

Revenge, greed, chance

Did this affect me personally?

Much of this film is memorable, but nothing particular about it is striking to me.

Why is this ranked #137?

It’s yet another fun film on the list that feels undeserving of such a high rank.  Its production and clever, tidy storytelling give it far more appeal than others, and many viewers clearly feel the same way.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She wasn’t interested in the film initially, but it captured her attention and she enjoyed it until the end.

Would I watch it again?

Yes, just to see what I missed. I’m sure I overlooked a lot..

Would I recommend it to a friend?

Sure.  Some of my Christian contemporaries might find the language and brief nudity a bit unsettling, but it is countered with plenty of justice and pointed humor to win you over.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

I think so.  It probably shouldn’t be ranked as high as it is if you were to apply the high brow cinematic standards of the numerous legendary films on the list, but if you were to isolate any of the elements in this film (dialogue, cinematography, acting, etc.) and put it in another film, it would appear to be brilliant.

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