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7of the best... GUY RITCHIE FILMS.

1LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS (1998) IN WHICH Guy introduced us to the washed out colour palette, kinetic editing and quick-fire banter that would become his early trademark. A modern take on the heist movie saw Nick Moran's over-confident card sharp get his friends (Jason Statham, Dexter Fletcher and Jason Flemyng) in debt to a crime boss after they back him in a rigged poker game.

2 SNATCH (2000) AN EXTENSION of the Lock, Stock formula sees a cast of underworld types with improbable nicknames (Brick Top, Bullet Tooth Tony, Franky Four Fingers) chasing a stolen diamond. Jason Statham and Stephen Graham stand out as hapless fight promoters forced to bargain with Irish traveller and bare-knuckle boxing champ Mickey (Brad Pitt with an accent as incomprehensible as the plot).

3 MEAN MACHINE (2001) VINNIE JONES, the break-out star of Guy's first two movies, is shockingly miscast as a footballer in this adaptation of a 1974 Burt Reynolds film. It changes the sport from gridiron to football and transplants the story to England. Ex-Wimbledon hatchet man Jones's character is forced to coach a motley crew of inmates to take on the guards' team after he's jailed in a match-fixing scandal.

4 SWEPT AWAY (2002) MADONNA plays a spoiled trophy wife who takes out her frustrations on cruise ship first mate Giuseppe (Adriano Giannini). When tragedy strikes, the mismatched pair make it to a desert island, presumably aided by the buoyancy of their wooden performances. Alone together, the castaways' animosity turns to attraction. Both are luckier than Guy, whose promising directorial career sank without trace.

5 REVOLVER (2005) AFTER mis-steps with comedy and romance, Guy returned to the crime caper genre, but the results were little better. Jason Statham is confidence trickster Jake, whose fool-proof formula makes him a marked man in gambling circles. Ray Liotta and Mark Strong do their best with a pretentious script, but like the casinos Jake visits, anyone who paid to see this must have felt thoroughly cheated.

6 SHERLOCK HOLMES (2009) IT DIDN'T look promising on paper, but Guy's rollicking take on the famously sober sleuth actually proved terrific fun. Its success was due in no small part to Robert Downey Jr's star power as the titular crime-fighter, and he strikes up a winning partnership with Jude Law as Watson. A solid sequel Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows followed.

Going Solo: 7 THE MAN FROM UNCLE (2015) PERHAPS looking to recreate the knockabout fun of the Sherlock movies, Guy took on the job of breathing fresh life into the beloved 60s espionage series. Unfortunately Henry Cavill's Napoleon Solo and Armie Hammer's Illya Kuryakin lacked the chemistry of Downey Jr and Law's double act, leaving a movie that looks great but fails to engage.

CAPTION(S):

beg your pardon? Statham, Brad Pitt

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:May 21, 2017
Words:467
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