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.
Four Jack-the-lads find themselves heavily - seriously heavily - in debt to an East End hard man and his enforcers after a crooked card game. Overhearing their neighbours in the next flat plotting to hold up a group of out-of-their-depth drug growers, our heros decide to stitch up the robbers in turn. In a way the confusion really starts when a pair of antique double-barrelled shotguns go missing in a completely different scam. Written by
When Hatchet Harry and Barry the Baptist are killed, neon lights can be seen against the dark background through the window behind Harry, but they would only be visible at night, though the event occurs in daytime as seen in the next shot outside the building when Eddie and Tom enter. See more »
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 seen daylight, moonlight, Israelite. Fanny by the gaslight. Take a bag, c'mon take a bag. I took a bag home last night. Cost me a lot more than ten pound, I can tell you. Anyone like jewelry? Look at that one there. Handmade in Italy, ...
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Now do you understand everything I've said? Because if you don't, I'll kill ya
I've avoided this movie for sometime now. Firstly because friends told me that it was 'Pulp Fiction'-ish (and boy do I hate that movie). Secondly, because its British and although I'm from South East London myself and love British television comedies, I have rarely found British humour well translated onto the big screen. Normally it is toned down to plain slap-stick goofy uncomplicated Inspector Cleuseau type humour tailored for American audiences.
But to find not just British, but straight-faced East London cockney-slang and swear filled humour in a really stylish movie was a revelation.
I have always believed that British humor, especially East London humor is much more sophisicated than American humour. Maybe the reason why American audiences have been more forthcoming with LS&2SB is that despite the accent, they finally 'get it' without having to have it remade into an American version, ala Faulty Towers and Threes company and other British comedies. Yet, I believe Tom Cruise is remaking the movie with an American cast. I suppose for those who just cannot understand English unless its spoken in an American accent. That is really a shame as there are so many diverse accents all around the world and LS&2SB could not have been done in any accent other than cockney.
Still, there are bits only the British will get, like the scene with the three guys pouncing on the traffic warden in the back of the van. That scene had me clutching my sides. Only someone living in London can feel true loathing for a traffic warden, the most hated person in Britain.
Cinemtography was superb. I wont go into who's already done the slow-mo's and stop action argument. It is near impossible to do anything in a movie today that has not already been done. You can either do nothing - or do whatever you can as long as it suits the mood and the flow of the movie, and Guy Ritchie just cannot be faulted. He projects the seedy, thin laned, miserable weathered London, yet with such style that you want to see more. The camera work could not have been better. Just see the projection of Eddy's unsteady, light-headed wooziness as he gets up from the gambling table having lost everything and owing even more. Brilliant.
The Soundtrack was as diverse and yet brilliant as I have ever heard in a movie. I dont want to look like waving the Union Jack here, but this movie shows that the British have a more diverse taste in music. From Reggae, to Ska, to Rock, to Mikis Theodorakis every track played just added to the scene showed.
In short, LS&2SB is a movie that just does not stop for a second, is full of refreshing humour, filmed with style, has a lively soundtrack, some violence thrown in for good measure, and a story with more twists and turns than a bowlfull of spaghetti.
Dont let this movie slip you by. You'll either love it, or hate it.
If this movie was not British, I'd give it an 8/10, but since it is, it gets 9/10 from me.
Favourite dialogue: Rory Breaker: If you hold back anything, I'll kill ya. If you bend the truth or I think your bending the truth, I'll kill ya. If you forget anything I'll kill ya. In fact, you're gonna have to work very hard to stay alive, Nick. Now do you understand everything I've said? Because if you don't, I'll kill ya.
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