Sunday, August 17, 2014

Movies by year: 1998

(Oi, spoilers ahead!)

What to tell you about? Such a big pool this year - heartstring-plucking with Meet Joe Black, What Dreams May Come or Practical Magic? Weird and bizarre with Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas or The Big Lebowski? Critical darlings The Truman Show or Saving Private Ryan? Gritty and inventive with Run Lola Run, Snake Eyes or Dark City?

How about overwhelming and a bit confusing?

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

How are you with interconnected plots and massive casts? Because this one has it in spades. See if you can follow this.

Eddy is a card sharp with a proven track record. His friends Bacon, Tom and Soap put up enough money to back him in a high-stakes game. The game is fixed by Harry The Hatchet and his man Barry The Baptist, so Eddy is now into Harry for half a million pounds and only has a week to get the money, or else he and his friends will get a visit from Big Chris, not a desirable situation.

Easy so far, right?

Harry has an interest in antique guns and doesn't want to pay for them. Seeing some coming up for auction, he has Barry hire a couple of small-time crooks, Gary and Dean, to rob the owners, telling them they can keep everything but to give him what's in the gun case. Not knowing exactly what they're there to acquire or for whom, they end up selling the guns that weren't in the case, which just happen to be the ones Harry wants, to Nick The Bubble.

Still with me?

Eddy has come up with a plan to get the money - steal it from the guys next door. Their neighbours are vicious thieves, and they're planning a heist themselves - a naive group of hippies run a grow-op and they're up to their eyeballs in cash, which soon must be delivered to their employer. Eddy's plan is to let them rob the hippies, then rob the thieves when they return. But they need weapons to look tough - so Tom gets in touch with Nick, buys the guns stolen by Gary and Dean, and Nick says he can also get them a buyer for the pot that will be with the money.


There's more, so much more - I haven't even mentioned Rory Breaker, the violent lunatic. Or how it all goes down. But believe me, you have to pay attention. This multiple-character, multiple-eventually-overlapping-storylines thing has become Director Guy Ritchie's signature.

I never get tired of this one. Did you see it? What did you think?

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