Film: Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels
Can everyone stop getting shot?
A British movie by Guy Ritchie
featuring a gang of amateur hoodlums who repeatedly end up on the wrong side of much nastier London gangsters.Pinball Protagonist
+ Loads and Loads of Characters
+ Gambit Pileup
+ Cluster F-Bomb
+ Everybody's Dead, Dave
just about sums it up
The spinoff TV series Lock, Stock...
and the film Snatch
are considered Spiritual Successors
This film provides examples of;
- Accidental Kidnapping: The Traffic Warden in the van.
- Affably Evil: For a Loan Shark's enforcer, Big Chris doesn't seem like that bad of a guy. Just lay off the kid. No, REALLY, lay off his kid...
- Agony of the Feet: One of the scousers likes to put bits of paper between his victims' toes and light it on fire. One of the weed growers gets his toes blasted off.
- Anyone Can Die: To the point that Ed's friends twice in a row enter a place only to find it riddled with corpses.
- Asshole Victim: Most of the deaths after the first three or four are experienced by people who really had it coming sooner or later, though there are a couple of exceptions.
- As You Know: The rules of three-card brag are spelled out for the players, who really ought to already know about the game they're buying into for a hundred grand. Then again, when you're playing for a hundred grand a head, making sure everyone is playing by the same rules isn't a bad idea.
- A-Team Firing: John when unloading his Bren gun on Winston's group. Granted, he doesn't know exactly where they are, but he is carrying a BFG and firing in their general direction in a fairly small room. The POV shot of his intended targets indicates he got nowhere near.
- Awesome but Impractical: Lampshaded for the Bren gun, the shotguns, and according to Soap, guns in general.
- An Axe to Grind: Hatchet Harry and Barry the Baptist both use them.
- Bad Boss: Dog and Barry.
- Badass Grandpa: Harry and Barry are both pretty long in the tooth, but no less badass for it.
- Berserk Button: Big Chris is a very cool customer as long as you don't threaten his son.
- BFG: The Bren light machine gun.
- Big Bad: Hatchet Harry.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Dog and Rory Breaker both serve as secondary antagonists who are unconnected to each other or Hatchet Harry.
- Binge Montage
- Black and Grey Morality: The main characters are a bunch of petty grifters, but they run against some of London's most brutal gangs.
- It's four grifters vs. murderous thieves vs. a drug lord vs. a loan shark and his two Co-Dragons.
- Brick Joke: The Man on Fire in an early scene is actually the punchline from a scene we won't get to see until later.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The traffic warden, who gets the protagonist group off the hook as he only remembers Dog's gang as the ones who stole the drugs and beat him up.
- Chekhov's Lecture: Dog misses out on two of these, to his cost. He wasn't present to hear either Harry telling Barry that your days are numbered should you dare threaten Little Chris, or Big Chris telling Little Chris about the importance of fastening your seatbelt.
- The Chew Toy: The traffic warden.
- Cluster F-Bomb: There's barely a scene without one. Or many.
- Contrived Coincidence
- Cool Car The Shelby Cobra that Big Chris buys at the end of the film with the stolen money.
- Cool Guns: The Holland & Holland shotguns, hands down.
- Country Matters: A few times.
- Creator Cameo: Producer Mathew Vaughn is the yuppie whose car is stolen by Dog.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Rory Breaker.
- Description Cut:
Harry: "I don't care who you use, as long as they're not complete muppets."
Scouser: "Shotguns? You mean, like, guns that fire shot?"
- Doesn't Like Guns: Harry offers Big Chris a gun, but Chris says that they're "not his thing."
- The Dragon: Barry the Baptist, to Harry. Also Big Chris because he's seen getting most of the work done, making it a case of Co-Dragons.
- Dragon with an Agenda: Big Chris at the end has no intention of further dealings with the protagonists, now that his boss is dead. He just wants to give his son a good life.
- Dramatic Irony: In a lot of the scenes, the humor/tension comes from the fact that the characters are oblivious to something that the audience knows is happening.
- Establishing Character Moment: Much of the cast are given one, Nick the Greek, Dog, Rory Breaker and Barry being the most memorable.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Dog's men are visibly disgusted by his Establishing Character Moment.
- Evil Counterpart: Dog's gang to Ed's. They live right next door to each other and are both engaged in low scale criminal activities, but Ed's friends are only a little worse than anyone in Only Fools and Horses when it comes to street hustling, whereas Dog is a disgusting brute of a man.
- Evil vs. Evil: Dog's gang vs. Rory Breaker's gang.
- Fingore: As well as drowning people, Barry's other method of debt enforcement is to take a finger from the debtor's hand for each day without payment.
- Friendship Moment: The big Scouser's reaction to his partner's death is actually kind of touching.
- Fun with Subtitles: For (semi-fictional) Cockney Rhyming Slang.
- Gambit Pileup
- Generic Ethnic Crime Gang: Nick "The Greek" is, well, a Greek gangster.
- Guns Akimbo: All over the place.
- Golf Clubbing: Dog's method of torture puts a creative spin on this.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: The girl who lies very still on the couch cushions while wearing similarly patterned clothes gets completely overlooked twice. See the Awesome page for details on the second time.
- Hyperlink Story: The gambling plot, the weed growing plot, the gun-stealing plot, the robbery plot, all end up connected.
- I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That: Big Chris, charitably, after hearing Eddie's dad's reaction to Harry's offer to cancel Eddie's debt in exchange for the deed to the pub.
JD: I do know your reputation. So I choose my words very carefully. You tell Harry... to go fuck himself.
Big Chris: Now, I'll put that down to shock. Only once.
- Improvised Weapon: In a flashback, "Hatchet" Harry kills a man with a sex toy, specifically a 15-inch black rubber penis.
- Informed Ability: The betting in the pivotal scene makes no sense. Ignoring the fact that Harry was cheating, Eddie correctly believes that Harry is bluffing (he has a weak hand) - it's just that Eddie's hand is even weaker. The only way he can win is to bluff Harry into folding - or he can cut his losses and fold (losing what he's committed to the pot so far, which would hurt but not be catastrophic). Calling is the worst thing he can do in the circumstances. And that ignores the fact that a confident gambler who sensed weakness at Brag would "Bet Blind" - bet without looking at his hole cards (it earns you double at Brag), as Harry would not have been able to see what he had.
- Insufferable Genius: Winston. He's right about pretty much everything he voices an opinion about, but he does it in such an obnoxious way that no one bothers to listen to him.
- Ironic Echo Cut:
Narrator: "Ed would hate to admit it, but he could have kissed the old bastard for that. If he said he'd wanted to settle the debt on his own, it would have been a lie."
- There's also the scousers and Barry repeating a simple question whose significance really is not matched by what is going on: "What the fuck are you doing here?!" To which Barry responds "What the fuck are you doing here?!"
- Karma Houdini: Justified, since despite planning a robbery the main characters never actually get around to doing anything seriously bad. They get let off their more minor offences On A Technicality, and as for revenge from the proper gangsters...
- The weed growers escape the shootout with their product back and survive pretty much intact aside J missing a chunk of his toes and Willie possibly dying of shock depending on how many shots of the bren Mick got in him. They're also technically freelance as their chief employer is killed.
- Karmic Thief: The crew robbing the much nastier gang of thieves who happen to live to next door to them — the cash they plan to steal itself being stolen from a group of drug dealers.
- Kick the Dog: Dog murdering the dealer after torturing the information out of him. Also, when the big-haired Scouser lights a fire under the feet of his burglary victim, he suddenly drops several notches down the Sliding Scale of Antagonist Vileness.
- Kill 'em All: There are 17 deaths in this movie. Which doesn't sound like much for a movie like this but That's basically everyone other than the four main characters.
- Knife Nut: Soap.
"I think knives are a good idea. Big, fuck-off shiny ones
. Ones that look like they could skin a crocodile. Knives are good, because they don't make any noise, and the less noise they make, the more likely we are to use them. Shit 'em right up. Makes it look like we're serious. Guns for show, knives for a pro."
"Soap, is there something we should know about you?"
"I'm not sure what's more worrying. The job, or your past."
- Late to the Tragedy: The protagonists keep turning up minutes after a massive shootout has killed everyone off.
- Leitmotif: Ed and his friends have one, as do Dog and his gang. Ed's is kind of funky, while Dog's is more hard rock.
- Little Useless Gun: Averted. Barry the Baptist winds up dying after a single shot to the gut from a pocket pistol.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Most of whom end up dying.
- Loan Shark: Hatchet Harry.
- Lock and Load Montage: When Dog and Rory's respective gangs prepare to ambush the heroes.
- London Gangster: Many characters, naturally, "Hatchet" Harry Lonsdale being a classic.
- London Town
- MacGuffin: The titular guns are a textbook example. Also the bags of high quality weed
- Machete Mayhem: Soap has one.
- Man on Fire: Early in the film, a burning man suddenly and unexpectedly emerges from a pub, in what appears to be a Big Lipped Alligator Moment. However, the situation is explained later:
"Rory knows claret (bloodshed) is imminent, but he doesn't want to miss the end of the game; so, calm as a coma, he stands and picks up a fire extinguisher and he walks straight past the jam rolls (arseholes) who are ready for action, then he plonks it outside the entrance. He then orders an Aristotle (bottle) of the most ping pong tiddly (strong alcoholnote
) in the nuclear sub (pub) and switches back to his footer (football
). 'That's fucking it,' says the guy. 'That's fucking what?' says Rory. Rory gobs out a mouthful of booze covering Fatty; he then flicks a flaming match into his bird's nest (chest) and the geezer's lit up like a leaky gas pipe. Rory, unfazed, turned back to his game. His team's won too. Four-nil."
- Mexican Stand Off: Inadvertent since the characters don't quite realise it, but the principle applies. Rory's gang breaks into the protagonists' flat and runs into Dog's crew who are in hiding. Both groups realise something isn't right and an awkward pause occcurs before someone - followed by everyone else - starts firing.
- Mister Big: Rory Breaker, somewhat, though his shortness is exaggerated. And he does do the little-boss-with-huge-henchmen part.
- Never Bring A Knife To A Gunfight: Though a case where a guy manages to nearly chop an arm off before getting riddled by bullets.
- No Ending: An Italian Job-style cliffhanger.
- Not So Stoic: When his son's life is threatened, Big Chris beats the person who did it to death with a car door, screaming abuse at him the whole time. Also counts as Hypocritical Humor, as Chris objects to swearing by or around his son, and he uses a lot of profanity during this scene.
- Obfuscating Insanity: Tom's friend voices the opinion that Rory Breaker's Bunny-Ears Lawyer tendencies are an example of this.
- Orphaned Punchline: A variant. We hear the beginning of the joke, cut to elsewhere, and then cut back to the ensuing laughter.
- Pants-Positive Safety: When talking to Ed in the pub, Soap pulls a large machete out of his trousers, no indication it was stored in any sort of sheath. Made even worse the sharpened edge was facing his groin, meaning he could've castrated himself if he drew wrong.
- Papa Wolf: As Harry points out, God help anyone who dares touch Little Chris, not that the little monster needs protecting anyway.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: One of the Scousers attempts to cover his face with a fishnet stocking during the burglary.
- Precision F-Strike: Winston uses this quite artfully.
- Pinball Protagonist: Eddie's friends stumble on basically everyone else. Dead or alive.
- Poor Communication Kills: Quite literally with the Scousers, Harry, and Barry.
- Professional Gambler: The narrator would have us believe that Eddie is one, but his lapse of judgement at the table suggests otherwise.
- Punctuated Pounding: With a car door.
- Rare Guns:
- The shotguns/"smoking barrels" are worth quite a lot of money as collector's items.
- "What's that?" "It's me Bren gun."
- Running Gag: Nick, with Rory's glass table.
- Sophisticated as Hell: A lot, especially from Winston. For example, "You don't look like your average horti-fucking-culturalist!"
- Sound-Only Death: When Winston accompanies Rory Breaker to identify the thugs who robbed Rory's marijuana-growing operation. Once Winston has identified the primary culprit, as he hurries away with an armful of loot he hears gunfire.
- Spot of Tea:
"The entire British empire was built on cups of tea, and if you think I'm going to war without one, mate, you're mistaken."
- Stealth Pun: In the scene where Lenny and Dog are discussing the ganja-growing yuppies, Lenny calls them a bunch of 'faggots'. Dog then smirks, holds up a joint and says "Fancy one?"note
- The Stoic: Big Chris, who pretty much never raises his voice or conveys much emotion until his Berserk Button is pressed.
- Stupid Crooks: Just about every character qualifies one way or another. The film's tagline is even "A Disgrace to Criminals Everywhere." However, special note has got to be given to Dean and Gary, who are instructed by Barry the Baptist to retrieve antique shotguns from an estate home and keep anything else they can carry for themselves. Even in a mansion decorated with numerous expensive antiques, they rationalize that "old" must mean "worthless" (among other boneheaded decisions).
Dean: Can't you see these people haven't got any money? They can't even afford new furniture!
- Stupid Statement Dance Mix: The "Can everyone stop getting shot?" scene was turned into a UK #1 for Oxide & Neutrino (set to a remix of the Casualty theme tune, of all things).
- Stunt Casting:
- Sting as the bartender father of Eddie.
- Vinnie Jones (an ex-footballer with a reputation as a hard nut) as Big Chris. At the time it was stunt casting, but it led him to a Hollywood career playing very similar characters.
- Tactful Translation: The subtitles that show up for the Man on Fire scene above zigzag this, as it starts out translating the story with curse words edited out, then puts one in when there wasn't one, before editing them out again.
- Tap on the Head: Works flawlessly on the traffic warden when done by one of Dog's men, but later on it takes three of the protagonists pounding on him to render him unconscious.
- Taking You with Me: Plank's last act is to take Rory with him in a Mutual Kill.
- They Call Me Mister Tibbs:
- In the scene which introduces Big Chris, he insists that a debtor refers to Harry as "Mister Harry".
- Initially, Nick and his own mooks address Rory by his first name. After he finds he has been double-crossed, he angrily tells them, "That's Mr. Breaker. Today, MY name is Mr. Breaker!"
- Title Drop: Half way done, with Barry's "Lock, stock, the fuckin' lot". The barrels of the titular guns are actually seen smoking later on, which may qualify as a visual title drop.
- Those Two Guys: The Scousers.
- Traffic Warden: A recurring Butt Monkey played by Rob Brydon. Notably, once a Tap on the Head fails to knock him out, the whole group of protagonists decides to pummel him instead after one states his hatred for Traffic Wardens.
- Trapped by Gambling Debts: debts to Hatchet Harry are the primary motivation for the plot.
- Umbrella Drink: Served at the Samoan pub to the incredulity of the protagonists. This is also the Drink Order of choice for Rory, who not only favors that pub, but drinks those at his headquarters and serves them to guests. Like one of his other food preferences (ice cream bars), it's part of his characterization as seemingly kind of goofy and ridiculous (but actually terrifyingly badass).
- Wallpaper Camouflage: The couch potato girl at the pot house blends right into the upholstery, allowing her to get the drop on people twice.
- Weapon for Intimidation: The two muskets are bought purely for intimidation. However, Soap asserts that knives are actually better for intimidation, since they can be used without drawing the police. "Guns for show, knives for a pro."
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The only characters whose fate is left unclear are Nick the Greek and Winston and his surviving friends. Last we see of any of them, Winston is fleeing with the weed in Rory's van. Alan says that everyone "else" (i.e. not Tom or Big Chris) got arrested, but it's unclear if this refers only to the other three protagonists, or every other character. Certainly, only the former are subsequently seen in custody.
- Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Excellent example of this when Eddie realizes that his hand isn't all that good.
- Writers Cannot Do Math: The betting in the pivotal hand doesn't reconcile. For Eddie to have ended up half a million in debt, he would have had to bet his entire stack in the previous round. That's when he should have been thinking about turning the cards over.
- Xanatos Gambit: When Hatchet Harry cons Ed by cheating in three-card brag, Ed gets in deep by owing a quarter of a million quid. This is all to get vengeance on Ed's dad for beating him in cards years ago. If Ed doesn't pay up, and his dad doesn't bail him out, he gets vengeance by killing Ed, Harry wins. If Ed doesn't pay up, but his dad does bail him out, Ed's dad loses his pub, which he bought with the winnings he got off Harry. Harry wins. If Ed does pay up, he has earned a quarter of a million pounds, which wont be in the hand of Ed or his dad. Harry wins. Pity about the spanner in the works.
- The Yardies: Rory and co. However, they avert the typical "lower class thug" portrayal, instead dressing stylishly and having a swanky headquarters.
"There is one more thing. (beat) It's been emotional."