Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lock, Stock And Two 

Smoking Barrels

Truly Great Films #9

Probably the first time a 
15-inch black dildo is used 
as a lethal weapon...

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a remarkable film for several reasons. Both Vinnie Jones and Jason Statham made their first appearance as actors here. 

As you know, Vinnie Jones was a famous English footballer and genuine tough guy before his acting career, but as for Statham? 

Well, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels opens with Statham working as a street vendor/hustler. Which is exactly what he was doing before his first acting shot in this flick.

And this movie put Guy Ritchie on the map, which is good for us. Since LSATSB was released in 1998, he's given us Snatch and Sherlock Holmes. We're just gonna gloss over that whole Madonna/Swept Away disaster.

This movie also marks the last appearance of the Guv'nor - Lenny McLean - who died shortly after filming. 

Most of you won't recognize McLean's name, and that's fine. 

He plays an extremely tough gangster named Barry the Baptist. In real life McLean was considered the hardest man in Great Britain, and is as close as you're gonna get to having a real gangster in a movie.

You may have noticed that this is the 4th UK-based movie in Truly Great Films...and there's a reason for that. Unleashed, The Bank Job, Shaun of the Dead and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels all have the same attributes in common. 

They all feature a fantastic scripts, awesome acting and name-brand stars on a tiny budget. These films are funny, heartwarming and just plain good. 

But like I've said before, advertising a new release in the UK isn't the same as here in the states, and some really fine movies have fall through the cracks as a result.

On the the film...

LSATSB is basically a clever crime film with some twists. 

Some really good twists, actually. 

Four friends - Bacon (Jason Statham), Soap (Dexter Fletcher), Eddy (Nick Moran) and Tom (The terrific Jason Flemyng) - are hustlers out to make a buck.

They raise 100,000 quid and enter a card game run by Harry the Hatchet. (played by real life tough dude, P.H. Moriarty)

The game, however, is rigged, and the crew's card sharp - Eddy - loses to the tune of 500k. This sets off a series of trouble and double-crosses with a large variety of the criminal element. 

This includes drug dealers, pot growers, flim-flam men, enforcers - all the way to the top, which is Harry the Hatchet. Harry Lonsdale, the Porn King - and his right-hand man, Barry the Baptist.

There are a grand total of three other crews after the money and drugs involved, not counting Vinnie Jones and his ten-year-old son. 

I'm not going to describe the entire flick, that's not my style. I am going to strongly recommend that you watch this movie or rediscover it for yourself.

LSTATSB is well worth spending a quiet night at home with. 

It's far from perfect, and sometimes the camera angles are a little wonky...but I can live with that. I like a good story. Period. 

This film jump-started a couple of great careers, too. 

So it's worth watching just for that.

No comments: