"Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" Film Review

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) - IMDb

"Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" Film Review

Rating: 5/5

By: Nathaniel Simpson

    "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" is basically a British Tarantino film, and does everything so perfectly. The action, the writing, the characters are so amazing that you just sit back and relax while watching this caper of a film. 

    We follow a group of 4 young men - Eddy (Nick Moran), Tom (Jason Flemyng), Bacon (Jason Statham), and Soap (Dexter Fletcher) - as they pull all their money together to enter a poker tournament. However, things go awry, and they are £500,000 in debt to Hatchet Harry, who is a local mobster played by P.H. Moriarty. The catch is - they only have till the end of the week to pay it back before he sends Barry the Baptist (Lenny McLean) and Big Chris (Vinnie Jones) after them.

    How are these four poor young men going to pay off a half a million debt? They overhear their neighbors, who are robbers and con-artists, say they are about to attempt a robbery on a group of delinquents who sell and distribute drugs out of their house. So, our four protagonists make the plan of robbing their neighbors after they just robbed the drug dealers. What ensues is absolute mayhem and a fun adventure. 

    The comedy in this film is hilarious and spot on. Like mentioned above, it has that Tarantino style of humor that is evident in films like "Pulp Fiction". Take the scene where Bacon describes to his friends when Harry beat a man to death with a giant black dildo. This story is accompanied by flashbacks of the man being beaten to death. It's so profane and shocking that it works. 

    The plot is so intricately written that it's fun to make the connections while watching. For example, let's look at the two goofball robbers who are tasked to rob a safe filled with the guns. We think early in the film, "why are they here? What do they have to add to the plot?" As the film continues, we find out Harry is desperate for these guns. However, the robbers sell the two expensive guns to make a profit for themselves. The person they happen to sell them to is the person who supplies the guns to Eddy and the crew for the robbery. 

    This is Guy Ritchie's first film, and this is a very impressive directorial and writing debut. He makes the film absolutely hilarious with a mix of strong violence, and it works! Years before this film came out, directors wouldn't dare make a film like this. We can see the influence Tarantino has worldwide with "Pulp Fiction". He opened the door for directors to make bold, over the top films. I have to wonder, if "Pulp Fiction" was never released, would Guy Ritchie be as successful as a filmmaker? 

    The acting is extraordinary. The actors give performances that are so relatable and genuinely funny that you can't help but fall in love with this film. Ritchie has gone on to make other blockbusters such as "Aladdin" and "The Gentlemen", but nothing will compare to his spectacular directorial debut.