This 2005 feature offered me my first taste of Guy Ritchie's macho-centric artiness, and I hope it's my last. His hero (Jason Statham) emerges from seven years in prison ready to take revenge on a casino owner (Ray Liotta), then gets sucked into a mysterious loan-shark operation. All this transpires in a netherworld, neither the U.S. nor the UK, where sub-Tarantino posturing and metaphysical conceits (“There's no such thing as problems, Mr. Green—there's only situations”) are progressively undermined by a lack of coherent storytelling. Ritchie's epigrams are endlessly repeated in intertitles and voice-overs, women figure only as decor, and the stylish visual flourishes (which include a few shifts to animation) carry most of the interest. With Vincent Pastore and Andre Benjamin. R, 115 min.
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