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Movie Review: Revolver

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The name Guy Ritchie evokes an enthusiastic response in some movie-goers. I am sure everyone's curiosity is aroused about Revolver, his new crime drama. The characters in this movie devise a plan on how men having a "formula" could win at will at everything they do in life. While examining this fascinating idea, the thriller takes a roller coaster ride into the world of murder, gambling, vice and drugs.

The concept behind the film is that the real enemy lies within an individual. Jake Green (Jason Statham) is a con artist and a popular gambler who has acquired a strategy known as "the formula" that is to lead its user to win every game. During his seven year prison sentence in solitary confinement, he was jailed in a cell between two other convicts (not ever meeting each other). The three men communicated and shared their knowledge on confidence tricks and chess moves, and spent time mastering "The Mathematics of Quantum Mechanics".

Two years before their release date, the two convicts Jake befriended escaped prison without a trace and took the information that Jake gave them, including the knowledge of Jake's possessions and money. When Jake is released from prison two years later he learns his funds have been taken by his unseen escaped prison buddies. In order to get back what he lost, Jake decides he must go back to gambling and apply "the Formula".

The story broadens and gets more involved with murder, vice, and drug deals, but the plot gets difficult to understand. Jake gets involved with a crime boss and casino owner named Dorothy Macha (Ray Liotta) who wants revenge on Jake for winning a large sum of money from him. So Dorothy orders a hit on him. But when an attempt on Jake's life fails, two mysterious individuals named Zach (Vincent Pastore) and Avi (Andre Benjamin) come to his rescue. They will protect Jake only if he gives them his money to fund their loan shark enterprise. But Dorothy must worry about the big crime boss Sam Gold who controls Dorothy's rivals Lord John and Lily Walker who are trying to gain power.

The creative aspect of Guy Ritchie's movies usually exploits violence and action, such as in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, but this plot drifts into unimpressive spiritual and philosophical nonsense. It was very difficult for me to stay focused on this narrative, because of the psychological babble. The story takes on too many twists in various directions. Rather than giving the audience a general backstory to rely on, the plot became more complicated as the film progressed and lost its balance.

It was reported by Samuel Goldwyn Film media in an interview with writer/director Guy Ritchie that he said, "the concept is simple, but that is not usually how the mind reports it, it complicates a very simple premise." He continued by saying, "so the film might seem complicated, but I assure you it isn't, and that is the con." In my opinion, the con is on the ticket buyers. In 2005, this film made its U.K. release and it was not received very well by the film critics. Soon after it went to a DVD release where it was better suited for home entertainment. Putting a cast of good actors together to perform in a uneven film is a waste of talent.

I'm a Guy Ritchie fan, but this is far from his best work.

Directed by: Guy Ritchie
Running time: 110 minutes
Release date: December 7, 2007 (U.S.)
Genre: Crime, Drama and Thriller
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films and Destination Films
MPAA Rating: R

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