Why do I find it hard to come up with any reviews on this film?
I came to the theatre with, I can’t help it, a high expectation on this film, knowing that it comes from the guy who blew my mind with Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and made me believe Brad Pitt (once) did deliver a performance worth of praises in Snatch, although God only knows why he made Swept Away. Forget about the latter, Revolver is his latest vehicle supposedly showing his going back to the root of the former two films mentioned, a genre he seems to be at his utmost ease with: gangster.
Alas, his gangster films are filled with his penchant towards philosophical wisdoms, which serve well with British humor, and this film is no exception. From the time we see the extreme close-up shots of clues written in a white card for Mr. Green (Jason Statham) to the dialogues revealing the messed-up mind of his opponent, Macha (Ray Liotta at his most enjoyable performance), some intelligent audience will find the film a pleasant entertainment to pass two hours by, yet on the other hand, the average audience may find the dialogues tedious, and the only thing to keep them glued to the seat is the action scenes, generously scattered throughout.
Yet, those who are familiar with Ritchie’s works know very well that violent action scenes are not his cup of tea. He will take you through the motifs of every single action slowly, feeding us with visually descriptive scenes to make us belief that behind every character’s gesture lies complicated thoughts that drive them.
Now, does it succeed?
It is up to you to measure the performance of A-list cast which includes the aforementioned Statham, Liotta, Vincent Pastore, Francesca Annis, yet the one who keeps us intrigued with his constantly focused act is none other than André Benjamin, also known as André 3000 of OutKast. He slips through every single scene he’s in with a charming presence that leaves us wanting more. The same feeling I had when I watched P.Diddy in Monster’s Ball.
At the end, my expectation may not be fully met, but seeing a director believing in his own style by not trying hard to redefine the genre he’s familiar with, is more than a relief to me.