Time: 105 mins.
SYNOPSIS: Four London working class stiffs pool their money to put one in a high stakes card game, but things go wrong and they end up owing half a million pounds and having one week to come up with the cash.
BOTTOM LINE: Before Guy Ritchie became famous for marrying Madonna, he crossed the pond in a big way with this visually stunning, brutally exciting and viciously funny flick. The film begins with a high stakes card game that Eddy (Moran), carrying the life savings of his three closest friends, believes he can't lose. Unfortunately for him, he does just that, not due to lack of talent, but because underworld boss "Hatchett" Harry is cheating...and you don't call out Harry if you want to keep on breathing. To pay off the debt, Harry forces the lads to come up with half a million dollars within one week or they'll start losing body parts. Things get pretty crazy from here with the boys on one side, planning a caper that will rid them of the dept, and Harry and his henchman on the other, working their own little schemes and deals. Death and mayhem ensue with the outcome unsure who will win out and still be standing in the end. Well, not really, but how the matter gets settled is one of the most complicated and amusing plot twists I have ever seen. This is a roller coaster ride that depends as much on the talent of its' actors as it does on the unique look and feel of the art direction and editing. Though Ritchie has it cranked up to 11 most of the time, the characters are well-developed, never falling into caricature or blandness. Despite the fireworks and almost constant mayhem, they are what make this film endearing and original. A stylish and entertaining response to the usual crime story.