Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels - B
Viewed March 13, 1999 at Lincoln Square

An entertaining, if thoroughly empty, comic crime caper whose merits are a wicked sense of humor, with blackly funny one-liners and clever throwaway gags, and the most satisfyingly complex plotting in some time, involving as it does no less than 5 criminal gangs in search of 500,000 quid, a ton of ganja, and two antique shotguns. What doesn't work is Guy Ritchie's overblown direction; admittedly some of his tricks with film speed and skewed camera angles work (mainly at the poker game that sets the plot's gears in motion), but it too often comes off as directorial showboating. (In that way it's very reminiscent of Danny Boyle's oeuvre.) There's also the film's thoroughly ugly mud-drenched cinematography : this is easily one of the most visually unpleasant films I've ever seen and unlike Decalogue 5 with its piss yellow visual scheme, there isn't any valid reason for it.