Revolver

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For any high-fivin' "Movies for Guys Who Like Movies" bros hoping for the Guy Ritchie of yore, Revolver disappoints. It's no return to rock, but rather Ritchie's soporific, proggy-conceptual Film of Ideas, with Vivaldi interludes, fussbudget set design, recurrent references to chess, and a hit man inexplicably got up as Tati's Mr. Hulot. Hobbling stateside after a raping from the UK press, Revolver is nothing if not eccentric; at times, I halfway admired the suicidal gambit of making such a gnomic self-actualization gangster pic. All the crime-saga tropes are accounted for — the ronin bad-ass, feuding rival gangs, an invisible criminal overboss — but they do double-duty as allegorical points on the film's schematic layout. Jake Green (Jason Statham) is no sooner released from prison than he's back feuding with casino sleaze Dorothy (Ray Liotta, explosively deviant), but things swiftly go down the rabbit hole as he's indentured to and lectured at by a mysterious duo of loan-shark gurus (Andre Benjamin and Vincent Pastore). The plot's hieroglyphic symbolism adds up, finally, to some kind of lesson about the Ego, a fact confirmed by a lineup of Ph.D.s (and Deepak Chopra) who pop onscreen to tell you exactly that before the credits roll.

 
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