Thursday, October 30, 2008

LAMB MOTM: Revolver


Original Release: 12.07.07
Rated R
1 hour, 55 minutes

Rating: See below

Jake Green (Jason Statham, Transporter) has been released from prison after seven years. He wants to even the score against gangster casino owner Dorothy Macha (Ray Liotta, Slow Burn) for sending him up, but waits. Two years later, a now wealthy Jake embarrasses Macha in a game of chance, learns a fatal disease will kill him in three days and meets Zach (Vincent Pastore, Serving Sara)and Avi (Andre Benjamin, Be Cool). The two men promise to eliminate the threat of death from disease and Macha if he'll give them all his money and do everything they say for three days. Let the games begin.

I'm a fan of writer-director Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. I figured Revolver couldn't be as bad as the murmurings on the web said. Turns out, the film is all murmuring. Statham's greasy mop wig and scruffy handlebar mustache must have hindered his speech because I barely understood a word he said. Ten minutes in, I turned on subtitles to decipher the gravelly tenor of his voice. I couldn't imagine listening to this in theaters. The mumbling wouldn't have been so distracting except Revolver relies heavily on Statham to explain the plot. His words get clearer, but only as the story becomes more muddled.

I'm not knocking Statham, Jake Green is more nuanced than many of his recent characters and he handles the depth admirably. Liotta, prone to hamming it up, is excellent as the high-strung, hot-headed gangster as well.

Twenty or so minutes into Revolver, I got the impression Ritchie was trying to attain a new level in his film making. Liotta standing alone in a grandiose hall, or standing naked in a blue-hued tanning room seemingly begged for respect of its brilliant vision. Experimentation with animation looked cool but seemed more random than purposeful. Ritchie overshoots his lofty aspirations with an abuse of style over substance.

Dirty Undies
The coolest and most outrageous character is Macha's hitman Sorter (Mark Strong, Stardust). He has a knack for killing folks with one shot, no matter how insane that shot may be. Gunblasting battles are the bulk of the film's violent moments. The strongest scene is a pinned down, blood-splattered Liotta watching a nearly dead assassin finish her job. Liotta repeatedly steals the show with either his violence, nudity or foul mouth.

The Money Shot
is a film that had it's moments. When it ended, I felt there was a greater meaning I may have missed. Then again, watching it again to glean that meaning wasn't worth the effort. Simply put, the subject matter far outreached the abilities of the storyteller. My mildly positive opinion of Revolver continues its downward spiral.

As for its designation in the annals of the LAMB MOTM; Reel Whore gives Revolver LAMB Loathe. Check out who else feels the way I do.

Large Association of Movie Blogs


  1. I agree with your review. Although the visual onslaught was wicked impressive, to me at least. The plot though was more contrived and tedious than most in recent memory.

  2. @ blake: I kinda liked it when I finished it, but the spectacle faded and all the twisted wordiness remained.

    @IW: exactly.

  3. Although we came to roughly the same conclusion, we took a slightly different path. Can't believe you liked Liotta - I thought he was horrendous, giving a clinic on bad (and over-) acting.

    The ending redeeming it somewhat, but it was far too late. The damage had already been done.

  4. I thought Liotta was pretty tame compared to his ultra-lame role in Wild Hogs and in the trailer for In the Name of the King he looked excruciatingly bad.

    Since he was a high-strung, pissy mobster named Dorothy I assumed he would act like his ego was 10x bigger than it should be.