Ritchie attacks this with the vigour of a pop promo veteran - one epic chase through East End back alleys and train tracks is pulse-quickening perfection.
With two consecutive duds (Swept Away and Revolver) to his name, the director Guy Ritchie had a lot to prove with RocknRolla. Thankfully, though he doesn't quite reinvent the cinematic wheel, he has delivered a movie, easily his best since Snatch, that is so brimful of energy, plot twists and zany mockney villains that it never once pauses to reflect on its own preposterousness. The set-up is labyrinthine. Deep breath: the petty crook One Two (Gerard Butler) gets caught in a property scam with cockney kingpin Lenny Cole (Tom Wilkinson) who is deeply in debt to the Russian mafia and being betrayed by his accountant Stella (Thandie Newton) who, herself, is helping One Two rob Lenny, who is also searching for his drug-addicted rock star son (Toby Kebbell), the RocknRolla of the title, who is in possession of a precious painting belonging to the Russians. Got it? Ritchie attacks all this with the vigour of a pop promo veteran - one epic chase through East End back alleys and train tracks is pulse-quickening perfection. It's not going to win any awards for performance, dialogue or emotional catharsis. But that was never the point.