Written and directed by talented newcomer Guy Ritchie, this is one of those movies that was destined to become an instant cult classic à la Reservoir Dogs. Although some comparisons were drawn between Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino, it would be unfair to discount the brilliant wit of the story and the innovative camerawork that the director brings to his debut feature. Not since The Krays has there been such an accurate depiction of the East End and its more colorful characters. Indicative of the social stratosphere in London, Ritchie's movie is a hilarious and at times touching account of friendships and loyalty. The director and his mates (who make up most of the cast) clearly are enjoying themselves here. This comes across in some shining performances, in particular from ex-footballer Vinnie Jones (Big Chris) and an over-the-top Vas Blackwood (as Rory Breaker), who very nearly steals the show. Full of quirky vernacular and clever tension-packed action sequences, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is a triumph--a perfect blend of intelligence, humor, and suspense. --Jeremy Storey
The plot centers around four working class friends who pool 25000 pounds each for their poker expert friend to play with in a high stakes card game. Naturally, their scheme goes awry, they end up way in debt to the game's host (Hatchet Harry), and chaos ensues as they attempt to find money to repay their debt.
The first third of the movie is spent introducing seperate groups of characters: Hatchet Harry and his henchman, Barry the Baptist, who "keeps the business running harmoniously" by drowning deliquent borrowers; Three soft upper-middle class pot growers in their 20's; Rory Breaker - the deceptively cute, cuddly-looking gangster with a poodle afro and the temper of a junkyard dog; two hilariously imbecilic thieves "Shotguns? You mean guns that fire shots?"; and Chris the lean, mean loan collector.
Each set of characters is developed in isolation (a little bit like Tarantino) with healthy doses of English wit. Yes...this movie is very quotable. As the plot develops, each party becomes increasing tied up with the others as the movie approaches its prolonged climax. There are MANY surprises at the end of this film.
As Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was in US theaters for about one week, very few people in America have seen it. What a shame. It's significantly more humourous than Snatch, and much easier to follow. In fact, the few people that have borrowed this DVD from me have purchased a copy for themselves. This one's a keeper.
This is one of the most ironic movies of it's type you'll find. The way all the shiesty characters are brought together in the film is brilliant and entertaining. You've got crosses and double crosses and triple crosses, and in the climax you have the stage set for a major disaster as everyone is killing everyone else, with thanks to great confusion and mistaken identity.
The actual plot twists turns are far too complex to go over in this review just suffiuce it to say that you'll be watching the movie laughing to yourself at the unbelievable turns of fate that unfold on the screen. The wild web of relationships between the characters is simply hilarious. There are chracters working for people they dont even know they are working for who end up killing their own boss unkowingly in the confusion. The camera style is excellent and the english flair is a nice component to the overall feel of the movie in comparison to typical american crime culture flicks. This is a must see for fans of resevoir dogs, pulp fiction, jackie brown, playing god, good fellas, or any similar movie. this is just one of those movies you'll have to sit down and watch in order to see what all the full is about.
Very well written and well directed, Lock stock and two smoking barrels is an enjoyable experience all around.
Some of the same actors, notably the great Jeremy Statham, who appear in "Snatch" are present here, to great effect.
The plot: four buddies suddenly find themselves owing a local gambler known as Hatchet Harry $500,000.00. To pay him back, they concoct a plot to rip off some crooks who plan to rip off the local pot growers. Basically, everyone is trying to rip everyone else off. Playing into this are two antique shotguns, which Hatchet Harry covets (they would be the two smoking barrels of the title) and the buddies come into possession of, totally oblivious to the fact that Harry wants the guns.
What develops is a throwback to the old screwball comedies of the thirties and forties (albeit a very violent throwback), where surprises await as different scenes are viewed from different points of view.
If you loved "Snatch," you will, at a minimum, like "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels." Watch for Sting is a small but important role as the father of one of buddies in trouble.