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