Friday, May 20, 2011

Mob Rules (2010)

In case you didn't know, Quentin Tarantino and Guy Richie's movies have had an impact-in particular "Pulp Fiction", "Reservoir Dogs", "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch." That's a good and a bad thing, because while those are all around excellent movies, a series of bad to mediocre movies "inspired" by those films have come around. Shit, there's practically an industry of movies like this in England. So of course, Lionsgate is going to get in on this-they have in the past-with the movies they release that don't get a theatrical release. So, let's take a look at the latest one, "Mob Rules", which tries to mix both Tarantino and Richie rip-offs.

C-Note (Lennie James from "Snatch") has come to America, where he has started his own criminal empire, is married but seeing Chilli (Tina Casciani), and in general is living the high life of cocaine and women. However, two men he screwed out of a lot of money in the past-Tyrone (Gary McDonald) and Anton (Treva Etienne)-are leaving London to come after him.

First things first: "Mob Rules" is yet another victim to Lionsgate's "let's give this direct to DVD movie misleading cover art" rule. That's because the cover (which, like many, is a lazy photoshop job) makes it look like a more "urban action movie", when in reality, it's a dialogue heavy rip-off/"homage" to the likes of "Snatch" and "Pulp Fiction."

That out of the way, this really isn't a terrible movie. The acting is mostly fine (save for Casciani), it has moments of humor that-gasp-are actually funny (don't talk smack about Oprah), and a good eye for location. Hell, writer/director Keith Parmer actually shows a bit of promise IMO. The highlight though, is the Jazzy score and soundtrack by Tree Adams. It's great to hear a composer think outside of the box for a change, and I'd actually like to own the soundtrack.

All of that out of the way, this still isn't a particularly good movie. The film of so derivative of the films of Tarantino and Richie (at a few points almost to the point of outright plagiarism) that it ultimately has no real identity. It also tries way too hard to be cool for it's own good, and I'm sorry, but if your a movie, don't try to be cool. Cool is something that just comes naturally. Finally, there's the conclusion, which is your basic "bullet's and bloodshed" finale (complete with imagery stolen from the likes of Chinese action films) that just rings hollow, like the director decided "you know what, let's wrap this up already!"

So, is "Mob Rules" worth watching? Well, if you're absolutely dedicated to seeing ever movie "inspired" by the likes of Richie and Tarantino, then you'll have seen a whole lot worse. For everyone else: it has a few positives, but at best, it's worth a Redbox rental.

Rating: 5.5/10

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