RocknRolla is not for the kiddies—and likely not some adults. Foul language abounds throughout the film, and there is an ever-present threat of violence, but the actual on-screen violence is no more excessive than on many television drama shows that I shun for sensationalism.
But this is how thugs and hoods talk to impress. RocknRolla is one of my favorite gangster movies—and I go back 75 years as a fan of Cagney, Raft, Robinson, and Bogart.
RocknRolla is a Guy Richie film–he wrote, produced and directed it. The result is a well-layered look at London’s underworld of kingpins, go-fers, chiselers, druggies and losers—trapped in a slick, wild and often funny circular tangle of double-crosses.
As the beloved late movie critic, Roger Ebert observed, the gangsters in RocknRolla (Russian, English and American) are relatively small-time compared to the monumental legal schemes routinely carried out by seemingly respectable and law-abiding international corporate con artists.
Ritchie depicts an underworld of men with some boys trying to bluff themselves into a high stake game without any chips. There are few women in the cast, and only Thandie Newton has a major role as a femme-fatale, who is one of the catalysts in the round robin of deceit.
The marquee male actors include Tom Hardy, Gerard Butler, Mark Strong, Tom Wilkinson and one of the top international cinema stars, Idris Elba.
Other star actors include Toby Kebbell, as the heroin addict stepson of Wilkinson; and Czech actor Karel Roden as the Russian oligarch who is Wilkinson’s nemesis. Tangentially involved are two American crooks played by Jeremy Piven and platinum recording star and actor Ludacris.
At the core of the delightfully dizzying sub-plots within a doozy of a plot is Wilkinson, a London crime boss of ill-gotten real estate holdings, and his enforcer, Mark Strong. Add Russian crime boss Uri Omovich (Karel Roden) his gunsel (Dagan Micanovid) who are trying to muscle into London’s pricy real estate, and a stolen painting (another catalyst).
This movie has style to spare, a merry-go-run-around plot with twists and turns and clever dialogue by Guy Ritchie, (who also directed), spot-on camera work by David Higgs, and smartly-paced film editing by James Herbert.
To watch, go to: https://123moviesd.com/rocknrolla. Please remember these movies that are available free at the time these reviews are printed may not be available later.
The New York City Theatre Museum honored Frank Cullen and Donald McNeilly with the 2009 award for ‘Excellence in the Preservation of Theatre History” for donating to the University of Arizona’s Special Collections what UA deemed “the largest known private collection of show business memorabilia” and for the two volume history of vaudeville, Frank and co-author with Mr McNeilly wrote The Porridge Sister Adventures, a series of seven show-business novels.