Each Monday, film fan and champion of the downtrodden Jordan Sims picks out an overlooked gem or unfairly maligned masterpiece – and gives them the spotlight they so dearly deserve.
This week, it’s the turn of Guy Ritchie’s offbeat crime caper RocknRolla. Here are five reasons why it’s an underrated classic.
1. Super Hans is in it
Fans of TV comedy Peep Show will recognise Matt King’s character in the film, as it is strongly implied he is the very same vagabond-mate from the hit sitcom. Ok, so the evidence mainly consists of odd mentions of “twins” in both features. But let us dream…
2. …and there are more links too
Guy Ritchie made sure that there was plenty to be discovered in the fine details: e.g. Fred the Head’s character name is suspiciously similar to Doug the Head’s from Ritchie’s adjacent film Snatch. Originality’s loss; continuity’s gain.
3. Johnny Quid
Brilliantly played by Toby Kebbell, Johnny Quid is one of the most rock-‘n’-roll lay-about geniuses ever to appear on film – if that sentence makes sense. Even for Ritchie’s standard, quid is a triumph of self-indulgence and vicious conclusions. And that name…. wow.
4. The soundtrack
Only rivaled in griminess by Quid’s toilet seat, the indie/punk/all out rock of the soundtrack adds to the dangerous London atmosphere. The Subways make a personal appearance – although I’m sure Ritchie had his pick of many British bands.
5. …and the director’s affiliation with it
Music plays a massive part in the film, as it does in Ritchie’s cinematic career generally. The recurring use of Black Strobe is particularly personal to the director, as they first rose to prominence with the song ‘Me & Madonna’, which is about Ritchie and his former wife. Say what you want about his films, but you have to admit – the man has style.
Watch the trailer for Rocknrolla:
More underrated classics
The Assassination of Jesse James
Without a Paddle
Grave of the Fireflies
The Adventures of Tintin
The Invention Of Lying
The Money Pit
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