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Overall Rating

Awesome: 24.29%
Worth A Look: 12.86%
Average: 1.43%
Pretty Bad: 4.29%
Total Crap57.14%

4 reviews, 46 user ratings

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by brianorndorf

"Completely incomprehensible, but a wild ride"
4 stars

After taking a huge hit with the Madonna disaster, “Swept Away,” director Guy Ritchie comes back with a guns-n-thugs creation that is so complicated, convoluted, and ambitious, that marveling at the audacity of the filmmaking seems to be the only course of action. I couldn’t explain a frame of this film, but good heavens, it’s fun.

Jake Green (Jason Statham, “The Transporter”) has been released from a seven-year prison sentence, and is looking to exact revenge on Macha (Ray Liotta), the mob boss/casino owner who put him there. Achieving his goal swiftly, Green learns that he’s doomed with a fatal blood disease and only has days left to live. Teaming up with loan sharks Avi (Andre Benjamin, “Four Brothers”) and Zach (Vincent Pastore, “The Sopranos”), Green looks to change his life, yet finds himself stunted by Macha’s thirst for retaliation, and the ominous presence of Mr. Gold, a mysterious crime figure who haunts the underworld.

The latest from Guy Ritchie is a slippery mind-bender, intended to disrupt the average moviegoer’s complacency with the cinema experience. Perhaps licking his wounds from the critical and financial thrashing he took with 2002’s “Swept Away,” Ritchie returns to the glossy crime genre that made him famous (and his oeuvre dorm room poster staples), but he’s turned those expectations into a chance to explore more bizarre and cerebral terrain with this new production.

“Revolver” reminded me quite a bit of Richard Kelly’s near-masterpiece, “Donnie Darko.” Both films have a taste for the deliberately confusing, sharing scripts that take the viewer on a dark ride that requires much more thought than one simple viewing will allow. “Revolver” is a Lament Configuration encompassing themes of greed, redemption, and madness. It’s gift wrapped nicely in traditional Ritchie language of thugs and guns, but the focal point here is mystery and deliberately screwy storytelling. Some (possibly many) will feel that Ritchie is pushing his luck, relying on purposefully ambiguous ideas to string together a smugly perplexing movie. Honestly, I couldn’t disagree with that sentiment, but I found myself completely won over by Ritchie’s enthusiasm, and marveled at his picture’s hell-bent lunacy.

The game of chess plays a crucial role in “Revolver,” with Ritchie arranging the film into one enormous gaming board. Using visual and aural clues, along with Green’s constant inner-monologue, the film explores the beauty of the con, and the manic duality of the con artist. Ritchie fills the frame with symbolism, clues, and disorder to keep the viewer guessing, as though the audience was in a chess match with the filmmaker and he continually holds the upper hand. Ritchie is throwing such massive handfuls of philosophy and misdirection at the screen that the whole endeavor threatens to crash down around him. And it almost does, in one eternal scene where Green confronts the pestering voices in his head. Ritchie recovers quickly though, and still manages to make this curious film entertaining, even if at times it makes you dizzy.

The jigsaw puzzle plot of “Revolver” does offer many treats, including the first full-bodied performance from Jason Statham. While the role doesn’t require him to emote extensively, it does solidify his Lee Marvin-like charms, and continues his successful relationship with Ritchie, which always seems to bring out the best in the actor. The film also reignites the director’s interest in cautious, deliberate compositional choices and camera tricks. The visual spice livens up “Revolver” significantly (including an unexpected animated sequence), acting as a pillow the more baffling material can rest upon.

“Revolver” is a difficult recommendation to make. The film doesn’t offer literal answers (or, for that matter, even end credits), and might be a frustrating sit to some. However, this is the perfect movie for those who like to crack things open and dig around the innards, with Ritchie encouraging interpretation and curiosity with each new scene.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 01/20/06 15:47:52
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Toronto Film Festival For more in the 2005 Toronto Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

4/17/13 Flipsider Ritchie put psycholgists in the credits to explain what the movie was about. Says it all. 2 stars
12/10/09 A.Wilson Probably the most polarizing film of all time, most people wont understand it Mr.Gold wont 5 stars
3/25/09 Monday Morning Muddled plot, lame acting, a waste of time. And oh, Madonna sucks in her own right. 2 stars
12/04/08 Shaun Wallner Very Boring! 1 stars
7/26/08 pin Psuedointellectual Trainwreck. Truly Awful. 1 stars
6/19/08 OwlJulie Loved the elevator scene. This movie is spiritual, about getting hold of your demons. 5 stars
12/13/07 cristi interesting mind game this movie 5 stars
12/12/07 Emanouil R/evolve/r is not for the Majority. The FILM delivers a profund truth you aren't ready for. 5 stars
12/09/07 Naurto See? Marry Madonna and your career goes to shit. 1 stars
12/08/07 Max I was told by a friend this was a "mind fuck" ala Fight Club/Matrix. WORST MOVIE EVER!!!! 1 stars
12/06/07 Mick Guy Richies take on intelligent sci-fi,future cult classic. 5 stars
9/09/07 Andy Excellent! Worth watching a second time to appreciate it fully. 4 stars
4/27/07 pervez khan it gives u an idea of how to rule and that is , to have some mental strength. 5 stars
10/22/06 Kyle E God forbid an action film with abstract symbolism. quite a thinker 5 stars
10/22/06 Yusef Its symbolic showing how money controls man "MR Green" if you see this its great 5 stars
9/26/06 skunk a movie that requires you to think, consider, reconsider and genuinely use your brain! gold 5 stars
5/30/06 Fer A challenging, exciting and engaging film. Not for grandma or people expecting Snatch 2 5 stars
5/03/06 Dracon Movie = Marvel. Must see for educated individuals. Requires full attention. 5 stars
4/28/06 MrSorter I found myself liking it from the get go.. a few bumps but by the end.. if you get! 4 stars
4/15/06 a awesome 5 stars
4/13/06 Jordan Bradbury Didn't understand all of it, but enough to know that it is an awesome movie. 5 stars
12/15/05 Apple I have no idea what this film is trying to portry, but it looks cool. 4 stars
12/14/05 gunzoller great movie. great perfomance. real art-house. 5 stars
12/07/05 stickman can words describe how shit this flick is? 1 stars
10/21/05 Vitok Watch it several times to understand that you are about to commit a suicide 1 stars
10/15/05 Bo A huge disappointment for what was going to be the greatest comeback ever 2 stars
10/09/05 Uncle Salty If I can't say anything nice, I won't say anthing at all. 1 stars
10/04/05 Jon Riordan Weird movie, started off really well, then about 45 mins in began to lose itself. Worth see 3 stars
9/30/05 Pete Great film - unless you like to be spoonfed a story 5 stars
9/27/05 beanhead so what and who was real and what was in his head ?? 1 stars
9/27/05 Bexx what the hell was it about, i just dont get it 1 stars
9/26/05 Leon intellectual plot very cleve...guns and violence with enough leaves you working it out A+ 5 stars
9/25/05 Big G Terrible. The greatest load of bollocks since .... ever! 1 stars
9/24/05 Russ ridiculous 1 stars
9/24/05 jonmac what in heaven have i just witnessed? nonsense!! neel, snap out of it!!! 1 stars
9/23/05 Mark G Painful to watch! What a let down. 1 stars
9/21/05 Mark T. Absolute rubbish!!!! 1 stars
9/21/05 Mark T. Absolute rubbish!!!! 1 stars
9/21/05 Mark T. Absolute rubbish!!!! 1 stars
9/21/05 Mark T. Absolute rubbish!!!! 1 stars
9/21/05 John M. Worse film in years!!! 1 stars
9/21/05 Keith Piper CRAP!!!! 1 stars
9/19/05 Neel Idiots of today, namely Katrina and Alex you dont know squat about films. Go read a book. 5 stars
9/14/05 Katrina saw it at the preview screening - worst movie of all time. 1 stars
9/13/05 Alex Brisbourne Astonishingly bad: I'm a great ritchie fan (maybe, was). Needs User Guide to follow it! 1 stars
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  07-Dec-2007 (R)
  DVD: 18-Mar-2008



Directed by
  Guy Ritchie

Written by
  Guy Ritchie

  Jason Statham
  Ray Liotta
  André Benjamin
  Vincent Pastore
  Andrew Howard
  Vincent Riotta

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