Thursday, February 21, 2013

A formula to win the ultimate win

Revolver (2005)
Okay, back on the horse again after the ugh of London and right into the ugh of Revolver.  I'd heard this wasn't as acclaimed as Ritchie's earlier films and man, is that an understatement.  You know those movies where you can tell the writer or director had recently studied something that intrigued them and then decided to make a movie on it without really thinking it through?  Yep, this is one of those.  I'm actually good with movies that are a puzzle to figure out, or just a mess of twisted plot lines, but you have to actually do something with that.  This seemed to a rambling mess just for the sake of being a rambling mess.  Yes, I get that it's all inside his head, etc, etc.  That's great.  It'd make a great Philip K Dick short story.  Just don't make me sit through nearly 2 hours of it.

Revolver is a pretty classic example of the George Lucas Pompous Ass Effect.  I define that as anytime someone becomes such a powerful force in cinema that no one stops to question their decisions.  George Lucas hit the ground running and could do no wrong.  Right up to the point where and believed his own press and stopped bouncing ideas off people.  That's how things like casting Jake Lloyd or Hayden Christensen and Howard the Duck happen.  Guy came out of nowhere and stunned folks with Lock, Stock and Snatch and rightly so.  They were inspired and clever bits of film making.  So I'm sure that guy was able to bring this disjointed mess forward without a great deal of explanation or collaboration because he had the clout to do what he wanted.  Learn from the past people.  Don't be George.

Statham again has hair and the moment you see that, you know you're in trouble.  He's again good from a pure acting standpoint and I do like to hear him narrate a show, but he's there's very little Statham to be had here.  Because of the convoluted crap Ritchie is trying to cram down our throats, the version of Statham we get to see isn't the badass that his character really is, we get to see the bit of him that's trying to push back against being a badass.  Blargh.  He's very cool in the few scenes where he's in control and explaining The Rules or playing chess, but everything else in between is pretty flat.

Speaking of pretty flat... What the hell has happened to Ray Liotta?  Dude really needs to just stop and go find something else to do.  I loved him to death in Field of Dreams and Goodfellas, but he's done jack and squat in the last 20+ years since then.  He's pretty much a caricature of himself in this one.  It's entirely possible that's by design given the crap-tastical "twist" to the movie, but it sure as hell isn't fun to watch.  Oh, Ray.  Why?  Why Ray, why?

Mark Strong on the other hand...  Damn.  Very fun character in this and he's pretty much the only source of badassery to be had since Statham is so thoroughly neutered.  Not sure there's anything I haven't completely loved him in.  And yes, that even includes John Carter. 

Badassery Quotient - 3
I could plausibly give this a zero, but I'll add on a few points for the narration and the fun chess scenes.  But I seriously need to see him kicking a few people in the face while simultaneously running them over and shooting them in the knees.  Like now.

Rewatchability - No way
I don't really need to see this one again to see how all the pieces of the bullshit "twist" played out and all the hints that were given.  Guess what?  It still sucks.  Never, never, never would recommend this to anyone.

Up next - Chaos.  Know zip about this one, but from the DVD cover, there's a much better chance that Statham shoots someone.  I can only hope.

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