IMDB Rating: 8.3
Released : 19 January 2001
Genre : Crime, Thriller
Stars : Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Benicio Del Toro, Dennis Farina
Director : Guy Ritchie
Turkish and his close friend/accomplice Tommy get pulled into the world of match fixing by the notorious Brick Top. Things get complicated when the boxer they had lined up gets badly beaten by Pitt, a ‘pikey’ ( slang for an Irish Gypsy)- who comes into the equation after Turkish, an unlicensed boxing promoter wants to buy a caravan off the Irish Gypsies. They then try to convince Pitt not only to fight for them, but to lose for them too. Whilst all this is going on, a huge diamond heist takes place, and a fistful of motley characters enter the story, including ‘Cousin Avi’, ‘Boris The Blade’, ‘Franky Four Fingers’ and ‘Bullet Tooth Tony’. Things go from bad to worse as it all becomes about the money, the guns, and the damned dog!
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Subtitles A Must To Really Enjoy This
I would imagine viewers would either really love this movie or be totally turned off. It is presented in a different format for its time (since copied), has very odd and profane characters, accents that are difficult to understand, and tells an unpleasant story with some disgusting scenes. So, why do I enjoy this film, being an old-fashioned so-and-so?
Well, because I usually enjoy "stylish" film-making and dark humor and this has both in abundance. This is almost as stylish as it gets: fascinating visuals, odd camera angles and various tricks, sound effects, etc. Most of the characters in this bizarre crime film have colorful nicknames and most speak in a strong British accent. A gypsy, played by American Brad Pitt, is almost intelligible.
This is why I strongly recommend you use English subtitles while watching this film, at least for the first viewing, or you will totally lost. The DVD offers a feature I’ve never seen before: the option of using subtitles solely for Pitt’s character. The filmmakers knew few people were going to understand Pitt’s weird way of speaking. Anyway, I recommend the subtitles for everyone. It makes the film more enjoyable when you know what’s going on, especially with the many slang terms used in here that have to be totally foreign to most viewers outside GB.
Since the action changes every two minutes to another scene with other people (Lord of The Rings subsequently did the same), it’s had to get lulled to sleep or have your mind wander. Something wacky is going on every few minutes. The attitudes of the criminals are rough: these are low-life people in the underworld: extremely tough people with the toughest being "Bricktop" (Alan Ford) who likes to feed people to the pigs. There are a ton of f-words in here, too.
The disjointed story is not easy to follow and I found I needed several viewings to understand everything that was going on. The characters are so strange, so cartoon-like, that – combined with the unique visuals – it makes it a fascinating film to watch every time. Some of these actors were fairly unknown at the time of this release , at least here in the States, such as Jason Statham ("The Transporter") but we know them know. There is a good mix of young and old actors in here.
This is a guy’s movie with the top dozen actors in this film all tough-talking, almost-crude men (plus a funny dog). It’s so weird, I’ll just end with the cliché that "this is not for all tastes" but if you enjoy dark humor and something totally different, you might want to give it a shot. Just remember to turn on the subtitles.
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