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Success can be deadly in Guy Ritchie's latest caper



If you dug Ritchie's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), you should find his latest London-set crime comedy amusing; it's virtually another version, but with more recognizable actors. Once again, Ritchie lines up an ensemble cast of interconnected thugs, gangsters, druggies, ordinary blokes who lean a bit dodgy and entertainers, mixed with some well-heeled (and well-booted) Russians and a pair of sleek upper-crust players. Instead of antique pistols, the chase is on for a surprisingly mobile "lucky painting." The odd bits of plot do all snap together satisfactorily, but the film's best pleasures are its jocular dialogue and a handful of entertaining performances, among them Tom Wilkinson as an aging fixer, Mark Strong as his consigliere and Gerard Butler as the relative innocent whose failed scheme sets much of the dizzying plot into motion.

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