Complete A-Z list

Rock N Rolla


Stars: Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Tom Hardy, Idris Elba, Thandie Newton, Toby Kebbell, Karel Roden, Mark Strong, Gemma Arterton, Geoff Bell, Jeremy Piven, Jimi Mistry, Roland Manookian

Director: Guy Ritchie

Very slight, very Guy Ritchie gangster comedy-thriller, with Wilkinson (in a bald wig) as the king of London's underworld, and Butler as One Two, a man on the make. What they're after, though, is about as muddy as the plot, which involves Russian Mafiosos moving in on Wilkinson's territory - a bit after the manner of the Irish gangsters and Bob Hoskins in The Long Good Friday .

It's 30 years since that film, but little seems to have changed - except that this is more stylised than that crime classic, and not to be taken seriously. Strong catches the eye as Wilkinson's hard-staring right-hand man, Newton is in for the glamour as a duplicitous lawyer, and up-and-coming Kebbell again impresses as Wilkinson's rock-star stepson, whose theft of a painting (loaned to Wilkinson by the Russians for no other purpose than to trigger the plot) sets what story there is in motion.

The end threatens us with a sequel for those with easy-going tastes for this kind of grainy, comic-strip violence.

David Quinlan

USA 2008. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Technicolor.
114 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 2.

Review date: 02 Sep 2008