Revolver

Revolver

Wrong, wrong, so wrong. First of all, the latest film from Tarantino-manque auteur Guy Ritchie starts with an epigraph, then another, and then another, and then more, and then these little would-be thought provokers on games, strategy, ego, etc., continue to show up throughout the movie. Then suede-head movie tough and Ritchie regular Jason Statham shows up on screen with hair longer than a quarter inch. Once the film, such as it is, starts creaking along, it is revealed to be a hot mess of bits lifted outright from The Usual Suspects, Payback, and a half-dozen other contempo crime flicks, all thrown together in a borderline nonsensical, wildly pretentious fashion to address the comings and goings of a fresh-out-of-prison criminal (Statham), an antagonistic crime boss (a trim but very orange and shiny Ray Liotta), and two mysteriously omniscient loan sharks (OutKast’s Andre Benjamin and Vincent “Big Pussy” Pastore). Further research reveals that Revolver has been sitting on studio shelves since 2005, and one wonders why they didn’t just keep it there for everyone’s sake.

In hindsight, it seems this is probably where Ritchie was headed all along: straight to DVD. After all, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels showed plenty of style and panache (still evident in Revolver’s visuals), but follow-up Snatch was so much a carbon copy that it seemed likely that the director was short on ideas, not to mention originality. In the wake of the disastrous Swept Away (the less said the better), he arrives here creatively bankrupt and quite possibly revealed as a complete idiot. (This reviewer actually went so far as to watch the making-of featurettes on the disc to see if the director actually knows what the movie is about and came away embarrassed for the guy.) The only thing worse than imagining Ritche’s next film is pondering what kind of bad Hollywood karma Liotta is working off here.

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