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"Revolver"

Directed by Guy Ritchie.
Written by Guy Ritchie.
Starring Jason Statham, André Benjamin, Vincent Pastore and Ray Liotta.
Release Year:  2005
Review Date:  12/12/07

Folks--

A classic example of the mixed bag, "Revolver" (the latest crime saga by "Snatch" and "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" director Guy Ritchie) was actually released abroad two years ago, and it is just now getting here because...well, it appears that the rest of the world thought that this was uneven, too.

Jason Statham plays Jake Green, an ex-con who is now living in the free world, and two years after getting out of prison, he has used the theories he learned while in solitary confinement to get rich in a number of local casinos.  This makes a local casino boss and dirty businessman named Macha (Ray Liotta, with eyes and teeth in glaring overdrive) even more angry, because he helped put Green in prison in the first place.  Later, we meet two guys named Avi (OutKast's André Benjamin) and Zach (Vincent Pastore, from "The Sopranos") who are extremely interested in protecting Green from Macha...but, at a steep price.

I think I had a handle on what was going on in "Revolver" right up until its incredibly shitty last fifteen minutes; then, the film attempts to become something more brilliant, high-brow and expert-assisted (per the film's end credits) and completely falls apart.  Up to that point, the film really is up and down; the more sensational pieces are scary, funny, visually stunning, and then we get many pieces that fall flat, mainly any time that Benjamin and Pastore are onscreen.  Statham is better in roles like this than in the leads of shitty action films, even though his charisma is similar in both kinds of movies; it's just that I have found him to be not-so-good in films where it all comes down to just his performance.  In "Revolver", between Liotta, a number of random criminal sequences, and some random animation moments, things are constantly moving, like "Snatch" but not done quite so well.

But, getting back to the film's ending, even if Ritchie--who wrote this script--had found a decent way to wrap up his prison analogies, he takes WAY too long to do it...and, it leaves the whole film looking like shit.  Very watchable but ultimately very unsatisfying. 

Rating:  Matinee

 

Comments?  Drop me a line at justin@bellviewmovies.com.

 

Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  This is the highest rating a movie can receive.  Reserved for movies that exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development, setting...or Salma Hayek.  Not necessarily in that order. 

"$X.XX Show":  This price changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently, it is the $9.50 Show.  While not technically perfect, this is a movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.  "Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca", but you'll have a great time watching.  The $9.50 Show won't win any Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see "Office Space"). 

"Matinee":  An average movie that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.  Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about yourself.  A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that Lakers game last night?" 

"Rental":  This rating indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one."  Mostly forgettable, you couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the video store was out of copies of "Ronin."  If you can, see this movie for free.  This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a half stars." 

"Hard Vice":  This rating is the bottom of the barrel.  A movie that only six other human beings have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen.  A Shannon Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a movie.  Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or "Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!  (Warning:  strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard Vice"-rated movies.)

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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09