Guy Ritchie is back, sorta. After the gangbuster success of the Gangster flicks Snatch and Lock, Stock…, he missed critically and financially with the esoteric Revolver. With this film, he still is up to his usual visual tricks and colourful cast of denizens from the London criminal underground. This time a Russian billionaire footie-team owner (sound familiar?) aligns himself with an old-school member of the English organized crime club. Adventure ensues.

I’m not entirely sure what it is that doesn’t work with this film, save for the fact that it all seems like it’s trying too hard to be cool, and too little to be authentic. Awkward banter, slick Dut ch angles with pastel lighting make for what seems to be a debut film, not the work of an experienced director. There’s a sense of needing to throw in as much as possible to make up for the redacted story line. It’s also somewhat obvious that the film was going for a younger demographic, with offscreen violence taking the part of actual gore. Normally this type of stylization is welcome, but here it feels like a tease.

The ensemble comes together quite well, and it’s certainly more accessible and enjoyable than the previous film. In the end, however, it feels like an overproduced single, lots of flash and slick production talent, but no soul or passion. It’s more Pop than Rock, and with more grittiness, intensity and humour it could have made for a great flick.