Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels Movie Review

Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels has been described as the British Pulp Fiction, and on the surface, that would seem like an accurate depiction. It's got the usual cross-section of characters with witty tongues involved in varied illegal activities, that get themselves into very peculiar situations in which no one really survives unscathed. Nonetheless, the film seems to be missing something that characterized its predecessor. And right now, you're getting the feeling that I'm about to quickly file Lock, Stock as another Tarantino homage/copy-cat crime, but that's not quite it either.

Lock, Stockis in fact, probably the best film since Pulp Fiction in which there are no really good guys. Pulp Fiction, Lock, Stockbegins with what would seem to be a simple story, that quickly careens out of control. In this case, four buddies; Tom, Eddie, Bacon, and Soap, pool their money together to back can't lose Eddie at an unbeknownst-to-them rigged game of cards. Of course they get fleeced, and end up in heavy debt to the local heavy. What follows is a madcap plan to recoup the money by intercepting a heist Eddie has fortuitously discovered his neighbor is carrying out. The interrelation of the problems with the original heist, along with the interception of it by Eddie's gang, and a couple of other local illegal activities result in a frantic circle of destruction.

Though the web of illegal activity is obviously reminiscent of Pulp Fiction, where Lock, Stockmost significantly strays from its de facto blue print is in theme. In Tarantino's masterpiece, the theme was essentially that there was no theme, no morality. In the gritty underworld, outcome is random. While Samuel L. Jackson is divinely saved and given a second chance to "walk the earth like Kane in Kung Fu," his partner in the guise of John Travolta is sentenced to death on a toilet. In this incarnation, the badder they are, the worse their fate seems to be, which often is death.

The real question now, is why have I rambled on without making much comment on the quality of the movie. The answer of course, is that I don't have much to say. Lock, Stock is one of those films that pretty much leaves you when you leave it. You can talk about the witty plot, and the funny lines, but in the end, I guess a movie with o one to really root for (I guess we do root for our four pals a little) leaves you in the end without too much invested. So we leave it like we Pulp Fiction before it, by walking out of the theater and saying, "Wow, that was pretty cool," and not thinking of it after that. (Of course, as with Pulp Fiction, some could always take a deeper shine to it.)

The new DVD includes a featurette on the film's cinematography and a compilation of expletives (funny!) from the film.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer :


Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels Rating

" OK "

Rating: R, 1999


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