"FORE!" yelled the Show Biz Maven as she
cowered while reviewing LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS. No, it wasn't Tiger Woods
starring in this thin British comedy about gangsters and luckless chumps. Instead, this
involved a victim being teed up by a "hit man" who seems to confuse a head with
a golf ball.
Golf lessons excluded, you'll still need a scorecard to figure out what this film is all
about. Written and directed by Guy Ritchie, the newcomer must have feared that this might
be his only shot so to speak in the movie industry, so why not throw in every intricate
plot, sub-plot, or perhaps no plot and then lace them with heavy carnage. The toll is so
horrific that at one point your Maven was forced to take out her lorgnette. That's the
only way she could keep track of anything concrete, unless you count all the dead bodies.
Filmed in London's least touristy area, the East End, we're given a quick profile of each
ragamuffin in the cast. The most watchable is Eddie the card shark played by Nick Moran.
By convincing his buddies that they could make a bundle from his winnings, they bankroll
him for one big night of cards. Predictably, Eddie suffers through a bit of double dealing
and loses more than what he brought. The cheat is the notorious Hatchet Harry (P.H.
Moriarty), a porn king who has a penchant for piling up antique guns (title?) and
If Eddie doesn't repay his debt, he and his friends will wind up with an anatomy lesson.
That's when they begin concocting the looniest ideas to win back the cash and show Hatchet
Harry a thing or two. Included in the mix is having Eddie's dad (laconically played by the
rock singer Sting), a bar owner, help out. Unfortunately, it's difficult understanding
anything that passes for dialogue, although the two men seem to be enjoying each other's
P.H. Moriarty as Hatchet Harry is the truest character of the lot, and it's a scream to
watch him throw tantrums in his office surrounded by sex toys that the Maven could barely
describe, as her lorgnette cannot take in anything from afar.
With so much cursing, boozing, smoking, and indecipherable chatter, it's advisable you
Earplugs to dull the noise of the double barreled gunshots;
Lysol spray to disinfect the smoke that feels like it's coming
directly from the screen;
A Twelve Step primer for those shloshed, I mean sloshed;
A cockney translator to muddle through, well, cockney;
A Thesaurus to introduce words other than those beginning with
"F" or "S";
A telephone card (1-800-HELP) asking Guy Ritchie for an explanation
of what the motion picture is all about.
LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS is billed as "the comedy
that conquered Britain." Here, then, are some of the picture's funny lines:
"You're a d..k."
"What the f..k."
"Go get the f
"No, YOU get the f
"This is f
.d. It's all been replaced by a pile of
"What the f..k are you doing here?"
That's my question.
With love & knishes from your Show Biz Maven.
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