This 2005 feature offered me my first taste of Guy Ritchie’s macho-centric artiness, and I hope it’s my last. His hero (Jason Statham) emerges from seven years in prison ready to take revenge on a casino owner (Ray Liotta), then gets sucked into a mysterious loan-shark operation. All this transpires in a netherworld, neither the U.S. nor the UK, where sub-Tarantino posturing and metaphysical conceits (There’s no such thing as problems, Mr. Greenthere’s only situations) are progressively undermined by a lack of coherent storytelling. Ritchie’s epigrams are endlessly repeated in intertitles and voice-overs, women figure only as decor, and the stylish visual flourishes (which include a few shifts to animation) carry most of the interest. With Vincent Pastore and Andre Benjamin. R, 115 min. (JR)

This entry was posted in Featured Texts. Bookmark the permalink.