Revolver / Dustin Rowles
Film Reviews | December 13, 2007 | Comments ()
I’d intended to write a respectable review of Guy Ritchie’s latest, Revolver, a film that has sat on the shelves for two years now in America, though it’s already been out on DVD since March of last year overseas. And in the UK, critics trashed the hell out of it upon its release, which is probably part of the reason why it took so long to get here. The other part, of course, is that it deserved the trashing it received. To call it a cinematic cum stain would be an insult to dried semen; it is a watching experience no less painful than an orchiectomy without anesthesia.
Unfortunately, that respectable review won’t be forthcoming because, to be honest, I didn’t understand a goddamn thing about the film, and I find it tremendously difficult to explicate cockney gangster gibberish. Explaining the incoherently complicated (or simply nonsensical) plot and the film’s pseudo-philosophy — which comes off as the ramblings of a junior-high school girl trying to doodle pretentious things on the back of her notebook — would be akin to deciphering an ancient Latin treatise with a Cracker Jack decoder ring. I seriously doubt that Jason Statham, who must have taken the role in lieu of giving up a kidney, had any idea what the hell he was saying most of the time, while Ray Liota just looks fucking confused, as if he fell asleep in his bed one night and woke up in hell’s dumpster. But, at least Andre 3000 looked cool while he wasn’t making sense.
The movie, I understand, is supposed to be to (pop) Kabbalah what Battlefield Earth was to Scientology, and if I were to judge a wackjob religio-philosophy on the basis of its movie alone, I may have to give the nod to Scientology, if only because I sort of knew what was going on in Battlefield Earth while I was hopelessly lost watching Revolver. Granted, there are some decent action scenes in Revolver but even that stylized violence is borrowed from Lock, Stock, and Two Barrels and Snatch and meshed with Tarantino, if Tarantino were a low-functioning pinhead who spoke in tongues. David Lynch’s influence also seems apparent, though when Lynch doesn’t make any goddamn sense, it’s at least interesting. The same cannot be said of Revolver; it’s a dumb, ineptly made mockery of film — the cinematic equivalent to an Edward Scissorhands handjob received under the spell of influenza and spiked cold medication.
Because the movie is already on DVD abroad, there are a few scenes available on YouTube. So, instead of trying to make sense of the film myself, I present to you one three-minute scene that’s pretty representative of the movie as a whole. If you can make sense of it, or watch it in its entirety without cracking a smile, then maybe Revolver is your kind of flick. But for the rest of you, try to imagine 115 minutes of this and you get a pretty good idea of how it feels to sit through Revolver.
Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba. He lives with his wife and son in Ithaca, New York. You may email him, or leave a comment below.