Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

R   |    |  Comedy, Crime


Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) Poster

A botched card game in London triggers four friends, thugs, weed-growers, hard gangsters, loan sharks and debt collectors to collide with each other in a series of unexpected events, all for the sake of weed, cash and two antique shotguns.

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8.2/10
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  • Guy Ritchie in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
  • Devon Sawa at an event for Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
  • P.H. Moriarty in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
  • Devon Sawa at an event for Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
  • Fred Savage at an event for Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
  • Sting in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


19 February 2003 | doktor d
The essence of late 90's cinema -- hip, highly stylized, VISUAL
Guy Ritchie's hip, highly stylized 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' is a truly remarkable film, not only for its appropriately pyrotechnic camera work, but also for its seemingly flawless, puzzle-perfect script/screenplay. While the picture's main focus is on a group of lads who invest money in a high-stakes, rigged card game and lose, the broader story concerns approximately eight different groups of criminals whose paths cross (more> than once, in some cases) during various illegal pursuits: money, guns, drugs, even revenge. The film is quite violent, both on and off screen, but it's also uniformly humorous throughout. It's important to note that the four central characters (a cook, a card sharp, and a couple of guys who sell "discounted" items) are interested only in acquiring the money to pay off their enormous debt; they kill no one. The same applies to the laid-back college boys who "grow copious amounts of ganja".

The cast is comprised of mostly young, veteran, male actors. In fact, the only female in the film doesn't even speak, though she handles a machine gun fairly well. Sting appears briefly in several scenes as a bar-owning father figure. While his secondary performance is solid, as usual, it is also unmemorable. The soundtrack is first-rate, from the 60's hits of James Brown to the contemporary beats of London's underground. The groovy, pulsating music and lyrics are often succinctly synchronized with the action and dialogue in the film, creating a theatrical rhythm that is fairly uncommon in cinema (from any period).

Critics and audiences over the years have often dismissed stylized camera work as pretentious and unnecessary, stating that it detracts from the story, bogs it down, or pads it; however, the film medium has the luxury of actually "displaying" a story for its audience, unlike the written word alone. It's what the medium is all about -- it's VISUAL. Hence, one of the reasons a filmmaker chooses such visual displays is to "brand" his or her work, in the same way as writers like Cummings, Hemingway or Joyce did with their medium. It's hard to imagine a cinema without Hitchcock, Kubrick, or Scorsese to represent it. To this end, Ritchie has taken his first step in establishing his own brand. His energetic, ultra-contemporary camera work incorporates (through a fresh perspective) such devices as slow motion, fast motion, and freeze-frame coupled with narration. It is at times reminiscent of (and actually expands upon) Martin Scorsese's patented visual stylistics and camera movements, like those found in 'Mean Streets' and 'Goodfellas'. But the similarities with Scorsese's work end there.

Critics' endless comparisons of Ritchie's film with the works of Quentin Tarantino and Danny Boyle's 'Trainspotting' stand mostly unwarranted, as these comparisons take away from the inventiveness and originality of 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels'. Ritchie's film is a much more involved, complex, layered work than the aforementioned comparisons. While Tarantino's films are very strong on dialogue, screenplay, and editing, they often lack creative camera work and direction. Boyle's 'Trainspotting' does have a resembling "feel" to 'LS&TSB', but aside from its Great Britain origins, there really is no need for comparison. 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' is essential viewing.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Model Laura Bailey filmed scenes as Eddie's love interest. This major plotline was only removed after filming had been completed.


Quotes

Bacon: Right. Let's sort the buyers from the spyers, the needy from the greedy, and those who trust me from the ones who don't, because if you can't see value here today, you're not up here shopping. You're up here shoplifting. You see these goods? Never ...


Goofs

When Rory Breaker's henchmen visit the dope house in the evening or at night (it's dark), they find J who has come around and screaming in pain. Which means that the police still hasn't come to the house. This is highly improbable, since there was a shooting there during the day. Dog's men had fired shots with the very loud Bren gun in two separate occasions, and Gloria also fired it after them, emptying out the magazine. Even if there was nobody else in the building, the shots would've been heard from at least a couple of blocks away, and the police would have come.


Crazy Credits

In the closing credits, the character names in the cast list are shown entirely in lower-case letters with no initial capital letters.


Alternate Versions

In the director's cut, theres also a scene prior to Big Chris coming in to Harry's when he'll be told about the boys' debt. The Baptist questions if Chris is loyal, and Harry tells a story and we see Big Chris knock 2 guys out in an elevator collecting a debt.


Soundtracks

Walk This Land
(Remix)
Performed by
Ez Rollers (as E-Z Rollers)
Written and Produced by A. Banks, J. Hurren and K. Richards
Vocals: K. Richards
Rhodes: A. Sharpe
Flute: D. Philp
Scratching by DJ Cosygroove
Published by Moving Shadow Music
(p) & © 1998 Moving Shadow Limited

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Comedy | Crime

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