In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_wqqs6be8whul7npjbh0h9v7wido

The Purge: Election Year

This pseudo-political horror-thriller is an ugly provocation, one that feels especially crass in light of national tragedies like the recent shooting in Orlando.

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Blog Archives

Reviews

Revolver

Revolver Movie Review
  |  

Guy Ritchie's "Revolver" is a frothing mad film that thrashes against its very sprocket holes in an attempt to bash its brains out against the projector. It seems designed to punish the audience for buying tickets. It is a "thriller" without thrills, constructed in a meaningless jumble of flashbacks and flash-forwards and subtitles and mottos and messages and scenes that are deconstructed, reconstructed and self-destructed. I wanted to signal the projectionist to put a gun to it.

The plot. What is the plot? Jason Statham has spent seven years in jail, between a con man in the cell on one side and a chess master on the other. Back on the street, he walks into a casino run by his old enemy Ray Liotta and wins a fortune at the table. Did he cheat, or what? I dunno. Liotta sics some hit men on him. Then two mysterious strangers (Vincent Pastore and Andre Benjamin) materialize in Statham's life at just such moments when they are in a position to save it. Who, oh who, could these two men, one of whom plays chess, possibly be?

The movie (made in 2005 but just now getting a U.S. release) begins with a bunch of sayings which will be repeated endlessly like mantras throughout the film. Chris Cabin at filmcritic.com thinks these have some connection with the Kabbalah beliefs of Ritchie and his wife, Madonna. I know zilch about Kabbalah, but if he's right, and if Ritchie follows them, I would urgently warn other directors to stay clear of Kabbalah. Judging by this film, it encourages you to confuse hopeless confusion with pure reason.

Oh, this film angered me. It kept turning back on itself, biting its own tail, doubling back through scenes with less and less meaning and purpose, chanting those sayings as if to hammer us down into accepting them. It employed three editors. Skeleton crew.

Some of the acting is better than the film deserves. Make that all of the acting. Actually, the film stock itself is better than the film deserves. You know when sometimes a film catches fire inside a projector? If it happened with this one, I suspect the audience might cheer.

Popular Blog Posts

The Real Reason Men of a Certain Age Hate the "Ghostbusters" Remake

The new "Ghostbusters" film brings a battle between distorted nostalgia and the power of a child's imagination.

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

The "Shawshank" Greatness, Part II

FFC Gerardo Valero returns to "The Shawshank Redemption" to investigate how it remains the #1 film on IMDb.

Donnie Darko in his mind's eye (One little boy, one little man)

"It was as though this plan had been with him all his life, pondered through the seasons, now in his fifteenth year c...

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus