This is what happens when the Brits make a grindhouse film.
I liked Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. The movie was paced well, was shot beautifully, and was well-written. The characters are entertaining and vivid. The plot is somewhat loose, but it works.
The movie was very reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino
's work, particularly Reservoir Dogs
and Pulp Fiction
. From what I hear, it also takes cues from The Italian Job
, though I haven't seen it so I can't really say. (As a side note, I've put it in my Netflix queue.)
Another thing I noticed was the lack of color. There is blue and green, but used very sparsely. Most everything in the film has an orange coloration to it. This gives the film a very gritty, grindhouse feel to it. (That reminds me- I still need to see Grindhouse
The film is unquestionably British. From the setting to the language, everything is endemic to England, specifically London. If the movie had been set anywhere else, it would have been completely different. Cockney is used to amplify this effect, and it works beautifully. It's also used for comic effect when the slang becomes so impenetrable that we're given subtitles.
The plot isn't told in an entirely linear way- it's told the way that best fits the film. The focus skips from one group to the next, to give us an understanding of the plot that none of the characters have. However, we are still left in the dark about a few things. Twists are completely unexpected, but not in such a way that it seems stupid.
Ritchie knows what the audience will know, what they will assume, and what they can figure out for themselves.
The one thing I didn't find excellent was the characters. They weren't too well-developed, as the movie paid more attention to the plot. They have personality, but it's never given much chance to shine through.
Overall, the film is well-made, with much attention to detail. However, don't go into the film expecting strong characters who learn a moral and leave the movie changed for the better. On the surface, it's somewhat better than average. If you take the time to analyze it though, you will most likely consider it a masterpiece. If you don't have the patience for that, it's still enjoyable.
Don't take my opinion for granted, though. See it for yourself and draw your own conclusions.