A brutally comic tale about a group of London friends who find themselves deep in debt to an East End tough, LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS is quick-paced, stylized, and highly entertaining. In his debut feature film, director-writer Guy Ritchie weaves a tangled web of shady, blithely eccentric characters and several storylines, all of them coming together in a gleeful explosion of murder and mayhem. When streetwise charmer Eddy (Nick Moran), the son of steely bar owner JD (Sting), botches a gambling scheme with his dad's nemesis, porn king Hatchet Harry (P.H. Moriarty), he's got one week to come up with 500,000 pounds or he loses his fingers--and so do his friends Tom (Jason Flemyng), Bacon (Jason Statham), and Soap (Dexter Fletcher). While the pals scheme to make the money, Harry indulges his penchant for valuable antique shot guns, stolen for him by a couple of inept burglars. Soon the missing guns, a paranoid group of marajuana growers, a mean-spirited debt collector (Vinnie Jones) and his young son, and a violent bunch of thugs, are all thrown together in this tightly-woven, genuinely funny story that takes its inspiration from old British comic gangster flicks like THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN and more recent films like RESERVOIR DOGS and THE USUAL SUSPECTS.
Dexter Fletcher - Actor/"Rachel Papers"
Nick Moran - Actor
Steven Mackintosh - Actor - London Kills Me
Stephen Mackintosh - Actor - London Kills Me
Guy Ritchie - English Writer/Director
Vinnie Jones - Actor
John Murphy - Composer, NEW BEST FRIEND (2002)
David Hughes - Composer, began in mid '80s, works with Director Gary Sinyor
Niven Howie - EDITOR
Tim Maurice-Jones - CINEMATOGRAPHER
Sting - Rock musician
Gordon Sumner - Rock musician
Jason Flemyng - British Actor
Matthew Vaughn - British producer/director
LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS is a kineticly comic tale that follows a group of Londoners who find themselves in over their collective heads after a sour card game. Luckily for them--or so they think--they discover that their neighbors are plotting a robbery, a perfect opportunity for the lads to stumble into some payback money. So the scams begin to pile....
Filming began on November 6, 1997, at Repton Boxing Gym in East London, a notorious haunt of the infamous real-life gangsters, the Kray twins. Typical freezing, rainy London weather plagued the crew, who sent runners back and forth all day long to a 24-hour bagel shop for hot tea and bagels. The sleazy feel of the converted East End buildings and interior sets were inspired by old photos of London's formerly red-light district, Soho (now an art gallery and night club stronghold). Sting's wife, Trudie Styler, was the executive producer of the film, and for Guy Ritchie's following movie, SNATCH. The couple introduced Ritchie to his wife, pop singer and actress Madonna, at a luncheon at their home during production of LOCK, STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS. Ritchie was previously a music promo and commercial director. He completed his first short, THE HARD CASE, a few years before LOCK, STOCK. "Personally, I would rather imply violence, anyway, we've seen it all before and I'm not interested in spilling the claret,"--Ritchie said of his decision to not make LOCK, STOCK into a visual blood-bath. The short [mentioned in the media links row], LOCK STOCK AND FOUR STOLEN HOOVES, is the pilot for the British television series, LOCK STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS, based on the film.
"...Stylised wildly at every turn..." - 09/01/1998 Sight and Sound, p.46-7
Rating: A - Recommended - 08/20/1999 Entertainment Weekly, p.133
"...Brash, ebullient direction....The punchy little flourishes that load this English gangster film with attitude are perfectly welcome....A fine feat of macho gamesmanship..." - 03/05/1999 New York Times, p.E22
"...[An] exhilarating, showy cinematic style....[With] multiple cackles and head rushes..." - 03/01/1999 Premiere, p.30
"...It's bursting with enough cheekiness and hustle-bustle to attract a cult. It's obvious Ritchie has talent..." - 03/05/1999 USA Today, p.6E
"...LOCK, STOCK is fun....It has an exuberance....It's alive..." - 03/12/1999 Chicago Sun-Times, p.31