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Film / RocknRolla

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People ask the question... what's a RocknRolla? And I tell 'em — it's not about drums, drugs, and hospital drips, oh no. There's more there than that, my friend. We all like a bit of the good life — some the money, some the drugs, other the sex game, the glamour, or the fame. But a RocknRolla, oh, he's different. Why? Because a real RocknRolla wants the fucking lot.

RocknRolla is the fifth film by British director Guy Ritchie. Much like Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch., RocknRolla is a crime film set in the London underworld, populated with colorful gangsters. The cast includes Gerard Butler, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, Toby Kebbell, Thandie Newton, Tom Wilkinson, Karel Roden and Blake Ritson.

Lenny Cole is a powerful underworld figure, who, through an immense web of bribery, controls most of the land deals in London. A Russian businessman by the name of Uri seeks his services in procuring the permits to build a new stadium, which would take nearly a decade otherwise. However, their mutual accountant, Stella, is plotting to rip both of them off. With the aid of a trio of local hoodlums known as "The Wild Bunch" — One-Two, Mumbles, and Handsome Bob — she twice steals the seven million Euros intended for Lenny's payoff. The first time goes off without a hitch. The second time doesn't quite go as planned. Hilarity (and awesomeness) ensues.

In the midst of it all is a (presumably rare and valuable) painting that holds sentimental value for Uri. It is stolen by Lenny's estranged stepson John, AKA Johnny Quid (the eponymous RocknRolla), and both of their respective Dragons (Victor for Uri; Archy, the Character Narrator, for Lenny) are following a trail of junkies and hustlers in order to find it.

This Film provides examples of the following Tropes:

  • Abuse Discretion Shot: In a flashback to Johnny Quid's childhood, his stepfather Lennie Cole is shown entering his bedroom and slapping him for playing and singing to loud music, telling him how much he hates him, and ordering him to keep the music down out of gratitude for Lennie sending him to boarding school in a month to get him out of his hair. As soon as his stepdad leaves the room, Johnny defiantly starts playing the music again, whereupon Lennie walks back into the room and starts taking his belt off. The flashback ends before we see Lennie start actually whipping his stepson.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Lenny addresses Johnny's DJ managers Roman and Mickey as "Greek and Minnie".
  • Anachronism Stew: When we first meet Johnny, he flashes back to his childhood, singing in his bedroom. We are indicated it is fifteen years earlier by an on screen note. As the scene progresses and we see more of the boy's room, a Playstation can clearly be seen under the boy's television. If the movie took place in the year 2008, this scene would be taking place in 1993, but this console was not released until the end of 1995.
  • And This Is for...: Once Lenny's treachery as The Informant is revealed, Archy sends him into his favorite torture trap, angrily reading off the sentences various criminals who Lenny betrayed got, culminating with his own.
  • An Arm and a Leg: This is implied to have happened to Uri. The phrase is spoken verbatim. Archy may have said it in a light, even joking tone, but considering what we just watched him do in the previous scene...
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: The majority of the Russian lines in the movie don't correspond to the translation shown. Mostly the overall approximate meaning of a passage or dialogue is preserved, but even that is not always the case.
  • Badass Bystander: Three road-workers nervously brandish their tools like weapons and confront One-Two and his companions during the second heist. They back off after One-Two pulls out a gun.
  • Badass Driver: Handsome Bob's job in the Wild Bunch is to drive under dangerous situations.
  • Badass in Distress: The Wild Bunch spend the third act captured by Lenny and his men. And just before that, One-Two gets captured and tied up for what can only be described as a sexually tinged torture session by the two Made of Iron Spetznaz.
  • Bad Guy Bar: The extended Wild Bunch owns and operates a bar that serves as their headquarters.
  • Bald of Evil: Balding Of Evil, in Lenny's case (and a flashback to Johnny's childhood implies he wasn't much nicer back when he had hair), and in Archy's case, though Archy is more morally grey than Lenny.
  • The Beard: Stella, to her gay lawyer husband, whose sexuality she knows about and doesn't mind hiding.
  • Berserk Button: Uri really loves that painting. Johnny Quid and Archy both get very angry when they are lied to.
  • Bitch Slap: Archy's expertise; so powerful, it can even make you flashback to grade-school! It does just that to Bandy, even though he didn't even go to school!
  • Black-and-Gray Morality: The most sympathetic characters are Archy, Johnny Quid and the Wild Bunch. Archy is The Dragon for an underworld boss who kills or beats people without hesitation. Johnny is a drug addled rock star who routinely steals from people, (and threatens them with a knife if they protest) hands out No Holds Barred Beatdowns to bouncers who try to stop from getting into clubs, (and keeps going long after they have stopped being able to resist) and constantly physically and verbally abuses the people around him. The Wild Bunch are a trio of career criminals. The least sympathetic character is Lenny, (Archy's boss and Johnny's step-father) an arrogant man, abusive step-father, Politically Incorrect Villain, a crime boss who lowers victims into water to drown/be eaten alive by voracious crayfish, rips off the people who make deals with him so that he can get them in his debt, and has secretly given testimony that has put most of his men and partners into jail at one time or another in order to save himself from prosecution.
  • Black and Nerdy: Tank, the heavyset informant contacted by Archy, played by Black actor Nonso Anozie.
  • Blatant Lies: Lenny asks Roman and Mickey "What do you think we are, gangsters?" in an offended tone while intimidating them.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: A sympathetic, or at least morally gray, version when Archy and the rest of Lenny's men kill him for being an informer.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Johnny Quid is a drug addict, but he furiously drives the two junkies who his friend Pedro invited to his house out of there. In this case, however, Johnny acts not out of hatred, but because he doesn't want them to reveal that he's alive to the world.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • Lenny. Pissing off Uri got him crippled for life via No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, and forced to drag himself a half mile or so to get help, to add insult to injury. And then Johnny handed off the file that showcased him as The Informant to Archy, well...
    • Possibly also Stella. And then Uri and Victor tortured her to death.
  • Briefs Boasting: When Archy enters One-Two's pad, he encounters One-Two tied down to his bed and about to be tortured by the two ex-Spetznaz Mafiya soldiers, who for some reason have decided to strip down to only their briefs and are dancing around to Russian rock as foreplay.
  • British Rockstar: Johnny Quid really, really wants to be one. Archy makes clear that being a "Rock and Rolla" is more than Hookers and Blow, though.
  • Bulletproof Vest: To a ridiculous degree. One of the Russians catches about six rounds from an AK at close rangenote , and is up chasing the Wild Bunch on foot for a prolonged period moments later.
  • Butt-Monkey: Quite a lot of characters are this, but the highlight is definitely poor Bandy, whose screen time always consist of him being slapped.
  • Camp Gay: Stella's husband is gay and likes stereotypically effeminate classy stuff, although he is on the more subdued side of the trope.
  • Character Narrator: The film makes use of this by having the Genre Savvy Archy explain to the audience how his boss and London's underworld works.
  • The Charmer: Cookie. He seems to have connections across social classes, and slides into Stella's high-class party quite easily.
  • Chase Scene: A particularly long and epic one when the Russians pursue the fleeing robbers on foot through the streets.
  • Chromosome Casting: There are three female speaking roles in the film - Stella, June and Jackie.
  • Creator Cameo: Guy Ritchie is the man on bicycle riding past Roman and Mickey as they approach Johnny's crack house.
  • Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster!: It's a Guy Ritchie movie. It pretty much goes without saying. Since this film deals with upper-class criminals, it's more apparent than ever. The Wild Bunch is sharply dressed, and when we see One-Two's house it's quite tasteful.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: One-Two and Stella have some Ship Tease, but she might be using him and the fact that she's implied to die doesn't help things.
  • Disappeared Dad: According to Lenny, Johnny Quid's real father hated his son, so he left.
  • Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off!: In a flashback, we briefly see Lenny Cole getting ready to take his belt to his rebellious son, the future rock'n'rolla Johnny Quid.
  • Dragon Ascendant: It's heavily implied that Archy took over things for Lenny after his untimely demise. (Having Lenny's old driver, Johnny calling him a real rock n' rolla, the bit with The Russian and so forth.) Kind of a subversion as Archy was the one to kill Lenny. Not out of a Heel–Face Turn so much as really not appreciating being lied to or sent to jail.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Archy is initially Mob Boss Lenny Cole's intelligent, competent, pragmatic, loyal, Noble Top Enforcer, and a major player in Lenny's everyday operations. However, having witnessed several instances of Lenny's abhorrent conduct, after learning of Lenny's betrayal, Archy finally retaliates against his employer and usurps him.
  • The Driver: Turbo is generally seen driving Archy around London.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Johnny's drug-induced fit has shades of this. Also, the two junkies are constantly seen this way. Cookie resents his drug-using days.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Archy might not be evil, but he's still a criminal, and uneased by Lenny's "drown 'em in crayfish" interrogation tactic. And then he's outright shocked by Lenny shooting Johnny.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Councillor. Among his many other bribes, Lenny gives him a thousand-Euro lighter (actually worth about a hundred) that's inscribed "THE COUNCILLOR".
  • Every Scar Has a Story: Two Russians are introduced talking about their various scars, which come from things like bullet wounds, grenades, barb wire, and even getting caught in tank tracks. One quickly gets the idea that they will be more than the misfit criminal protagonists have bargained for.
  • Evil Cripple: Mean-spirited and greedy mob boss Lenny spends the rest of the film unable to walk after he insults Uri at the wrong moment, and the enraged Russian has Victor break his kneecaps with a golf club.
  • Expy: Lenny Cole seems to be modeled pretty closely after Jimmy Price from Layer Cake, being a coarse, Politically Incorrect Villain whom mingles with legitimate businessmen and has mythical levels of influence over the authorities (such as keeping his men out of prison). More tellingly, like Jimmy, Lenny's influence comes from favors that he trades the police in exchange for ratting out other criminals whom he has personal beefs with, and he's killed by a loyal subordinate who he betrayed after being exposed.
  • Faking the Dead: It's implied that Johnny Quid faked his own death after anticipating that the news of his demise would cause his music sales to go up.
  • Femme Fatale: Stella. Deconstructed. She was a Too Dumb to Live Smug Snake that got in fatal trouble the moment she did a move that she couldn't seduce her way out of, and only managed to pull a "Playing Both Sides" for so long because Uri was attracted to her.
  • Forbidden Fruit: Johnny makes an extensive speech at the middle point of the film about how cigarettes, because of the government-mandated advertisement on the boxes about how potentially dangerous they are, have become much more of a refuge for the Death Seeker that wants to go out looking "cool"... which is the very same reason he won't give back the stolen painting, now that he owns it.
  • From Camouflage to Criminal: Uri's dragon Victor and his two unstoppable men were all part of Spetznaz, the general name for Russian special forces, and veterans of Chechnya who spend their free time comparing battle scars.
  • Gayngster: Handsome Bob provides one of the more hilarious scenes of the movie when he comes out to his co-worker One Two. Turns out One Two was the only person who didn't know, and also the only one who had a hard time accepting it. For everyone else, the fact that Bob is awesome overrode the fact that Bob was gay.
    Mumbles: I'll tell you something, Mister One Two. If I could be half the human that Bob is at the price of being a poof, I'd think about it. [beat] Not for too long, but I'd have to pause, y'know?
    • If it wasn't for Bob's quick thinking in Lennie's hideout, the whole Wild Bunch, Johnny and possibly Archy would be dead. He puts two-and-two together when Johnny mentions Lennie "grassing Archy up", to realize A: that "Sidney Shaw" is Lenny, and B: that Archy must know about "Sidney".
  • Godwin's Law: When Johnny says that Archy would make a good SS officer, it causes Archy to snap and deliver "the famous Archy slap."
  • Golf Clubbing: Yuri and Lennie are playing a game of golf and Lennie is enraging Yuri by being racist to him (Yuri's already in a bad mood from the theft of his lucky painting). Yuri's response is to have his enforcer Victor break Lennie's kneecaps with a golf club, so that he'll never walk again. Luckily, it's implied. Unluckily, we get to see Victor wiping his club afterwards.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Stella is near-constantly smoking cigarettes.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: When Uri finds his "lucky painting" in Stella's house, the audience doesn't see what happens next, but considering he leads a branch of The Mafiya, it's probably not very nice.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Johnny decides to start calling Pete "Pedro" for some reason.
  • He Cleans Up Nicely: Johnny at the end. Give him a shower, get him off drugs, and put him in decent clothes and he's much more of a looker.
  • Honey Trap: A mild version; Handsome Bob puts the moves on Stella's husband in order to get information about the mole who's been informing to the cops. Subverted since Stella knows about her husband's proclivities, and really doesn't care (and is, in fact, off with One-Two at the same party.)
  • Husky Russkie: Uri's two psychos for hire who guard his money. One of them is stocky, while the other is tall and ripped. They compare scars they've received in Chechnya and prove to be quite implacable.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: June, Mickey and Roman's secretary, comes across as more effective and resourceful than her bosses (who spend a lot of time ineffectually blustering and fretting) in her few scenes. She is the one to suggest using street informants to find Johnny Quid and knows exactly how much money they stand to lose if any of their clubs get shut down.
  • Hypocritical Humour: Lenny Cole is pretty foul-mouthed when interacting with the Councillor, but when the Councillor swears back at him, he subjects him to a brutal testicle-squeezing.
  • I Am the Noun: A variant. When Stella's husband asks if Handsome Bob is part of the Wild Bunch, Mumbles tells him that "[Bob] is the Wild Bunch."
  • I Have No Son!: How Lenny views Johnny (who, technically, is his step-son), calling him an embarrassment he wants to ignore.
  • I Own This Town: Lenny Cole says this of London, and it appears to be true, he having control of much of the building consent process and able to torture and possibly kill people at will, although later he is grievously wounded by a man who decides to circumvent him and killed by his right hand man when it turns out Lenny is also an informer.
  • Implacable Man: The Russian mercenaries will not give up no matter how tired or wounded they are.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Handsome Bob likes boys, specifically One-Two. One-Two really doesn't feel the same way, but he throws Bob a bone and gets over it pretty quickly.
  • The Informant: The London underworld is puzzled by he identity of an informant whose testimony has been putting away multiple well connected gangsters. At the very end of the film it's revealed to be The Don himself, Lenny. Lenny's men quickly and ruthlessly turn on him, especially since some of them, including The Dragon have gone to prison based on that testimony.
  • Injured Self-Drag: Implied after Lenny Cole has just had his kneecaps beaten to a pulp with a golf club by Viktor the Russian gangster, right after insulting his boss to his face. We don't see the full extent of Lenny's injuries, but judging by the fact that Viktor wipes his golf club clean afterwards, his kneecaps were most likely reduced to bloody pulps, leaving him screaming and cursing in pain. Yuri calmly tells Lenny that he'll have to drag himself all the way from the 18th hole back to the club shop in order to call for help. From that moment on, Lenny spends the rest of the film (and his life) in a wheelchair.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Averted. When Archy and his men kill the Russians offscreen, a number of gunshots are heard. There's a Beat and then another gunshot closes out the fight.
  • Jerkass: While Bandy seems mostly dim and Turbo is quiet but loyal and trustworthy enough to be Archy's number two, Danny is heartless. He does not hesitate to slap Bandy, mouths off to Archy about his instructions, and seems gleeful when told to kill Johnny, Roman, and Mickey.
  • Kick the Dog: Would be easier to say when Lenny isn't doing this on-screen, but the one act that stands out (because it hits Archy's Rage Breaking Point) is him having sold out about half of London's criminal underground (including a good chunk of the cast—and especially Archy) to the police for the amnesty, because he's racist and for the sake of Disproportionate Retribution (he put Archy in Hellhole Prison for four years just because he felt Archy was "getting full of himself").
  • Knee-capping: Uri orders Victor to cripple Lenny this way after the gangster makes the mistake of insulting him when he's already in a bad mood from the theft of his painting. Lenny spends the rest of the film confined to a wheelchair.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Lenny is fond of Water Torture. Fittingly, Archy lowers him into the Thames and drowns him.
  • Last Request: Well, technically Handsome Bob wasn't dying when he made the request, but since he was so devasted about the impending jail time, One-Two let him have the lovely slow dance in a gay club. When he finds out that Handsome Bob didn't go to jail after all, his colleagues tease him about this.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again:
    • Archy shows Lenny a newspaper showing Johnny Quid's death. Lenny brusquely states that they never mention it again and then moves on to something else.
    • One Two doesn't want it known that Handsome Bob made a pass at him.
  • London Gangster: Where would a Guy Richie film be without several of these? Tom Wilkinson plays the Shout-Out to the Krays, as per usual. There is another shout out to "the Jew twins" who Lenny put in prison for a lengthy turn after betraying them.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Archy's "song." He manages to sing "You'll never sing the same if your teeth ain't your own" in an upbeat way.
  • Made of Iron:
    • The Russian spetznaz. They survive their car being smashed by a truck, being shot, hit with bats and golf clubs, being thrown off the the hood of a car when it crashed, and still chase after the Wild Bunch in a prolonged chase scene. Lampshaded when Butler's character asks "What are these guys made of?!"
    Mumbles: [after hitting one with a baseball bat. Twice.] Please stay down!
    • Johnny Quid, in a weird way. He's already survived multiple rumored deaths. Even when strung out on drugs, he's capable of badass feats, ignores any injury, and ultimately survives a close-range gunshot wound inflicted by Lenny. He's still able to stand, deliver two headshots on Lenny's mooks, before collapsing from weakness. By the epilogue, he's even kicked the drug habit.
  • The Mafiya: Uri and Victor are heavily implied to be gangsters trying to go legit. Uri is at least a corrupt oligarch.
  • Never Found the Body: Johnny Quid is "missing assumed dead." Part of why everyone, including his managers and June, doubt he's dead is that if so, there's no evidence, and as June notes "If he's dead, that's the third time this year."
  • Noble Top Enforcer:
    • Archy, in comparison to his antisocial and vicious boss Lenny Cole, has a sense of honour which offsets his cold pragmatism, intelligence and charisma. Initially being loyal to Lenny despite his distaste for the latter's sadism, Archy eventually turns on Lenny upon discovering that the latter had previously betrayed him.
    • Uri's dragon, Victor, might qualify as well. It is mentioned by one of the Indestructible Russians that Victor saved his life during the Chechen War.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Uri is basically Roman Abramovich. How did they not get sued?
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Several, with the Russians beating Lenny and Johnny attacking a bouncer being good examples. (We don't see all of Johnny and the bouncer, but it starts with Johnny jabbing the bouncer in the throat with a pencil, and it just goes from there.)
  • No-Sell: Johnny is the only person to immediately recover from Archy's slap.
  • Noodle Incident: Victor mentions that the last two girls Uri fell for cost him tens of millions of euros but never elaborates on this.
  • Not So Stoic: Archy isn't quite an emotionless man, but when in Roman and Mickey's office/recording studio, he accidentally speaks into a hot microphone. Intrigued, he sings a quiet lyric into it before smiling at himself. When he sees the two producers and his own boss stare at him confused, he takes a few seconds to compose himself and get his intimidating face back on.
  • Oh, Crap!: When the Russian gangsters just will not go down, there is a great one after one of them jumps onto the car. He puts the knife through the ceiling, after which One-Two stops the car. As everyone is thrown forward, One-Two just avoids having his face cut open by the potruding knife, and his face very much says this. After they see the Russian's other hand and knife coming for them over the bonnet, the entire Wild Bunch is afflicted by this trope:
    One-Two: Abandon ship! Run for your lives!
  • Overly-Long Gag: Archy teaching Danny how to slap someone properly.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Upon learning that Lenny is the man who's sold out half of the underworld to the cops, Archy included, Archy righteously subjects Len to his own "drown 'em in crayfish" experience.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Archy has no love for Johnny, but when the newspaper reports that he is "missing, assumed dead," Archy offers his heartfelt condolences to Lenny.
    • Although it's obvious that he's still uncomfortable, One-Two goes from flipping his unholy shit about Handsome Bob being in love with him to treating him on what he thought was his last night as a free man for years.
  • Plot Hole: How did Johnny Quid know that Lenny was the one who made a deal with the police in court? It has never been explained. Archy and the others couldn't figure it out for years as well as Mr. One-Two and Co. having to go though lots of effort to find that info. Which they did by bribing Stella's gay husband, who was a lawyer in criminal cases, a date promise from Handsome Bob. While Johnny somehow knew that secret all along. What is twice weird is that he didn't tell anyone about Lenny. He at least could've told Archy who was suppose to be his friend.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Lenny is constantly griping about immigrants (even when the people in question are native Brits) and tossing around less than politically correct terms.
    • Subverted by One Two, after finding out Handsome Bob has a crush on him. He initially goes on a homophobic rant, but then he feels guilty, apologises, and takes him to a slow dance at a gay club to make up for it.
  • Pretty Boy: "Handsome" Bob.
  • Prison Rape: Handsome Bob has just confessed his romantic feelings towards One Two on the eve of a possible five years in prison.
    Handsome Bob: It's fine, it's fine. Five years, you know, I don't know if I can handle it.
    One Two: I don't know what I was thinking, Bob. I mean, there's nothing wrong with being a poof or being a gay, or whatever it is you call it, I don't know. I mean, there's gonna be plenty of your lot in there. You'll probably love it.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The recently-crippled Lenny delivers one of these to his stepson, Johnny Quid, when they meet up at Lenny's warehouse hideout:
    Lenny: What are you, boy, if you are not poison? Your real dad couldn't stand the sight of you. No wonder he fucked off and left me to pick up the pieces. But that wasn't enough for you, was it? You had to drive your poor old mum mad too. And when she got to the asylum, all they had to offer her was a hot bath and a cold razor. So what are you, boy, if you are not poison?
    • He also delivers a pretty brutal one to Johnny as a child after he catches him playing loud rock music in his room, about how he'd better show some gratitude and keep the music down until Lenny sends him to boarding school in the summer, because Lenny can't bear the sight of him.
  • Russian Guy Suffers Most: Taken to hilarious extremes with the two Russian goons. A whole scene is devoted to their hideous Scar Survey. One Two shows his utter disbelief at their seeming indifference to massive physical damage.
  • Ruthless Foreign Gangsters: The Mafiya, in all of its brutal, leg-smashing glory—which Lenny learned the hard way when he got said legs broken (putting him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life) and was forced to drag himself from the 18th hole of a golf course all the way to the visitor's centre to get help (adding a hell of a lot of insult to injury) because he antagonized Uri when he was still a bit pissed about having had his painting stolen.
  • Scar Survey: Two Russian mobsters compare their scars while waiting in the car. Culminating with the tougher one presenting a scar he claims to be left by the tank track.
  • Self-Defenseless: One Two gets maced, point-blank, in the face by Mumbles. It's certainly shown to hurt, and he needs nursing along for a minute or so, but he seems fine shortly afterwards and it never seems to affect his breathing. Also worth noting that the guy he was grappling with at the time, quite possibly within splashing range under the circumstances, suffered no apparent ill effects.
  • Sequel Hook: Johnny Quid drops the hint that he wants to be a REAL RocknRolla like Archy and the credits promise Johnny Quid, Archy, and the gang will be back in "The Real RocknRolla". Ritchie wrote a script for a sequel, but says that it's been sitting on the shelf while he deals with bigger projects.
  • Serial Escalation: On a meta level. Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels focused on working class criminals, with a less-than-a-million pound fee at stake. Snatch. was middle class and dealt with the diamond business. Here, it's about what Archy calls "the good life:" rock and roll, fancy houses, and millions of euros being thrown around.
  • Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll are not all there is to being a RocknRolla, but they're important parts.
  • Shirtless Scene: Johnny Quid gets a few. Despite an impressive six pack and lithe frame, he's not quite Mr. Fanservice, since all of those scenes come while he's grungy and strung out on drugs.
    • The Spetnaz as well. As with Johnny, even though they're in great shape, it's hard to be fanservice since they're about to torture One-Two.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Russian gangsters share their stories on the scars they have on their bodies, a nod to the famous scene in Jaws. Their conversation is cut short by a truck smashing into the side of the car, in Jaws 'our shark' interrupts by smashing into the side of the boat.
    • When Lenny Cole and Uri are talking business after the first payment of money has been stolen, there are oranges on the table they are having a drink at. The presence of oranges foreshadows the death of a character, much like they do in The Godfather trilogy.
  • The Smart Guy: Tank.
  • Smoking Hot Sex: Downplayed. Stella smokes after having sex with One Two right before he leaves her in the house with Uri's painting and Uri finds her and kills her, but she was smoking before the sex as well. She smokes a lot, let's leave it at that.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Johnny Quid. The man was educated in private schools and his vocabulary and eloquence show it. He's also a hard-partying rock star who doesn't mind cursing.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Johnny's piano song is very peaceful and calming. Meanwhile, Lenny is getting the tar beat out of him.
  • The Stinger: During the end credits, the full scene of One-Two dancing with Handsome Bob at the gay bar is shown.
  • Stocking Mask: The Wild Bunch use this disguise to perform the cash heist on the Russians.
  • Straight Gay: Handsome Bob, enough so that One Two had no idea (granted, he was the only one). Might be bisexual, since he's known as a ladykiller with lots of girlfriends.
  • Stranger Behind the Mask: Subverted, When Mumbles and Handsome Bob finally get the file revealing the informant whose been betraying the gangsters, they open it and find the strange and unfamiliar name Sydney Shaw inside. One-Two speculates that the is a pseudonym to protect the informant, though, and he's right.
  • Stupid Crooks:
    • The Wild Bunch are a downplayed example (they are definitely in over their head throughout the whole film).
    • The dumb crackheads invited by one of Johnny's friends to the pad are the definitive article. They steal the painting (which Johnny had stolen from Lenny's house) the moment Johnny and Pedro turn their backs and take it to the closest pub for selling (they probably expected to sell it for a lot of money, but the people there, who care neither for art or for the two crackheads bothering them, interrupt their attempt at an opening speech to the "auction" and offer them 50 quid, which they immediately accept). The man who buys the painting is one of Stella's employees, who gives it to her and is the direct instigator of her death at the hands of Yuri.
    • Stella, for all of her going around the plot acting like a Femme Fatale, proves to be one of these and it ends with her (probably thankfully censored) doom. You'd think that someone who works for weeks or months on end on seducing a target would have at least made some casual notice of the very distinct painting that the man is so obsessed over that he swears he will kill whoever was responsible for stealing it (which is who Stella looks like by placing it in her living room).
  • Take Our Word for It: The painting that is a main plot point of the film is never shown. From the reactions of several of the characters, one would assume that it is very beautiful, even to serious gangsters.
  • Those Two Guys:
    • The junkies. "Selling stolen fur coats in the middle of summer, would not seem unusual to the average junkie mind."
    • Also Roman and Mickey, who are inseparable and also in continued confusion over the whole situation they find themselves in.
    • Among the villains, the Russian ex-Special Forces soldiers that are part of Uri's gang. Their introductory scene has them checking each other's battle scars.
  • Title Drop: Three times, not counting Archy's dialogue in the beginning.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Stella, Stella, Stella. Ripping off seven million dollars from her employer once was incredibly dangerous and foolhardy (and if Uri had listened to Victor, suspicion would have fallen on her almost instantly), but doing it again right after was downright suicidal. She once more only evaded being traced as the security leak because Uri likes her too much to suspect her. There is a short Handwave for such recklessness in that the narrator says that Stella "has got bored of the safe life and is looking for excitement in all the wrong places". Ironically, while her plan did get Victor waiting for a reason to act against her, what did her in was simple bad luck of accepting the painting from One-Two and leaving it out where Uri could see it... although not realizing it was Uri's lucky painting if she's been working with him all this time is arguably ALSO too dumb to live.
  • To the Pain: Lenny gives a speech like this to an unfortunate person he's torturing in his warehouse.
    Lenny: Right, let me tell you how this works. You're going in the drink, and I'm going to have a cup of tea. Beneath your feet is the famous River Thames. I just hope for your sake that you can hold your breath for as long as it takes my kettle to boil. After that, I'm gonna ask you a question, just one question. You're gonna give me a name. And if it's the right name, I'm gonna send you home warm and dry in a fresh set of clothes. If it's the wrong name, you'll be fed to the crayfish. They're American, these crayfish. Big, hungry bastards. And like most things American, they've eaten all the natives...but they've still got room for more.
  • True Companions: Handsome Bob is the epitome of this to his friends. Mumbles praises him as a paragon of the trope.
    Mumbles: If I could be half the human that Bob is, at the price of being a poof, I’d have to think about it. [Beat] Not for very long, of course, but I'd have to pause, you know?
  • Unknowingly Possessing Stolen Goods: Towards the climax of the film, after having sex with Stella, One-Two the Scottish criminal leaves her a painting his friend Cookie gave him as a token of appreciation. Later on, Stella's boss Yuri the Russian gang leader visits her house to propose to her, as he has long wanted to do, only to find the painting in her flat, which she claims to have owned for years. Because the painting used to belong to Yuri (it's his "lucky painting", the theft of which kicked off the film's main plot), he does not find this funny, and orders Stella to be killed for supposedly stealing from him.
  • The Unreveal: Uri's painting is never revealed. The most we can tell is that it's got a black field, glimpsed when the junkies sell it. Of course, the prop is probably just a blank, black surface.
  • Villainous Valor: Lenny may be a sadistic Politically Incorrect Villain, but after his efforts to deny being The Informant fail, he doesn't beg or quiver as his enforcers prepare to lower him into a tank of water to drown while he is being relentlessly pinched by crayfish.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Subverted with One-Two, the Scottish gangster played by Gerard Butler. He's foul-mouthed, and goes on an enraged rant at Handsome Bob after he comes out to him, but he's more socially-awkward than violent. The most violent he ever gets is when he's fighting off the Spetnaz thugs, and they can tank his attacks and dish them back out.
  • Vodka Drunkenski:
    • While the Spetznaz has One-Two tied up and they're prepared for a sexual torture session, they're also blasting Russian rock and roll and pounding vodka like there's no tomorrow.
    • Averted by Uri. When Lenny asks "I thought [Russians] drank vodka?" he simply replies "Whiskey is the new vodka." He also doesn't drink, and Lenny gets absolutely smashed.
  • Water Torture: Lenny Cole likes to torment people he's questioning by dunking them underwater with voracious crayfish for a minute at a time or more.
  • Wicked Stepfather: Lenny Cole treated Johnny Quid with open contempt, smacking him and telling him that his father hated him.